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Western Tansymustard Back to Plant Page
Descurainia pinnata
  

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About Western Tansymustard (Descurainia pinnata) Descurainia pinnata is a species of flowering plant in the mustard family known by the common name western tansymustard. It is native to North America, where it is widespread and found in varied habitats. It is especially successful in deserts. It is a hardy plant which easily becomes weedy, and can spring up in disturbed, barren sites with bad soil. This is a hairy, heavily branched, mustardlike annual which is quite variable in appearance. There are several subspecies which vary from each other and individuals within a subspecies may look different depending on the climate they endure. This may be a clumping thicket or a tall, erect mustard. It generally does not exceed 70 centimeters in height. It has highly lobed or divided leaves with pointed, toothed lobes or leaflets. At the tips of the stem branches are tiny yellow flowers. The fruit is a silique one half to two centimeters long upon a threadlike pedicel. This plant reproduces only from seed. This tansymustard is toxic to grazing animals in large quantities due to nitrates and thiocyanates; however, it is a nutritious in smaller amounts. The flowers are attractive to butterflies. The seeds are said to taste somewhat like black mustard and were utilized as food by Native American peoples such as the Navajo.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Flower Color
Yellow

Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
-136' - 10329'

Annual Precip. ?
2.7" - 120.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 4.10"

Coldest Month ?
24.2° F - 62.2° F

Hottest Month ?
46.3° F - 89.1° F

Humidity ?
0.59 vpd - 42.79 vpd

Landscaping Information
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Menzies' Tansymustard


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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