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Barbarea vulgaris - R.Br.

Common Name Yellow Rocket, Garden yellowrocket
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards There is a report that ingestion of the leaves can lead to kidney malfunction[222].
Habitats Moist places, roadsides, stream banks and hedges[9].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa and Asia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Barbarea vulgaris Yellow Rocket, Garden yellowrocket

Barbarea vulgaris Yellow Rocket, Garden yellowrocket


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Barbarea vulgaris is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Flies, bees, beetles. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Campe barbarea. Erysimum barbarea.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedgerow; North Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Young leaves - raw or cooked like spinach[2, 9, 27, 46, 52, 95]. A hot cress-like flavour[183]. Young leaves are chopped up finely and added to salads, older leaves can be used as a potherb but they are rather strong and are best cooked in one or two changes of water[183]. The leaves are available all year round, even in the winter, especially if the weather is mild[95, 115]. To increase the productivity of the plants, remove the flowering stems as they appear (they can be eaten like the leaves[K]) and pick the outer leaves as the plant regrows[244]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Young flowering stems - harvested before the flowers open and cooked like broccoli[183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiscorbutic;  Appetizer;  Diuretic;  Vulnerary.

The leaves are vulnerary and have been used as a poultice for treating wounds[207, 240]. A tea made from the leaves is appetizer, antiscorbutic and diuretic[222].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in sun or shade in a moist well-drained soil[1, 111]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 7.5. The plant can continue to grow all winter, especially if the weather is mild[183]. A short-lived perennial[1], though plants usually self-sow freely when in a suitable position[K]. There is at least one named form, developed for its ornamental value. 'Variegata' has variegated leaves and grows less strongly than the type[183]. A good bee plant[108].


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Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks. Division in spring. his plant is a short-lived perennial, and also usually self-sows freely, so we have not found division to be worthwhile.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

English – Herb Barbaras, Yellow Rocket, Upland Cress, Winter Cress, Rocket Cress French – Herbe aux Charpentiers, Herbe de Sainte-Barbe. Spanish – Hierba de Santa Bárbara

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Native: Albania; Andorra; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China (Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Jilin, Xinjiang); Croatia; Czech Republic; Estonia; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Hungary; India (Jammu-Kashmir); Ireland; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Republic of; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Netherlands; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia, Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sri Lanka; Sweden; Switzerland; Tajikistan; Turkey (Turkey-in-Europe); Ukraine (Krym, Ukraine (main part)); United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland) Introduced: Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland I, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward I., Québec, Saskatchewan); Saint Pierre and Miquelon; United States (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming).

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive. Some evidence in the US including Kentucky, the North West, Nebraska.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Least Concern.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Barbarea australis 21
Barbarea orthocerasAmerican Yellowrocket20
Barbarea vernaLand Cress, Early yellowrocket30


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Subject : Barbarea vulgaris  
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