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Barbarea orthoceras
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American Wintercress
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Barbarea orthoceras

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About American Wintercress (Barbarea orthoceras) Barbarea orthoceras is a species of flowering plant in the mustard family known by the common name American yellowrocket. It is native to North America, including much of Canada and the western United States, as well as parts of Asia. It grows in moist areas such as meadows and riverbanks, particularly in the drier parts of it's range. This is a perennial herb producing a stiff, branching stem to heights between 10 and 60 centimeters. The leaves are a few centimeters long and generally oval in shape with several rounded lobes toward the end. The flower cluster is a spike or cluster of bright yellow flowers at the tip of each stem branch. The fruit is a straight, narrow silique up to 5 centimeters long.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.33 - 2 ft (0.1 - 0.6 m)

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Part Shade

Elevation ?
11' - 14460'

Annual Precip. ?
3.1" - 153.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.17" - 5.57"

Coldest Month ?
17.9° F - 59.4° F

Hottest Month ?
38.4° F - 88.1° F

Humidity ?
0.08 vpd - 38.62 vpd

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
American Yellowrocket

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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