Widespread across a variety of habitats including grasslands in mountains, deserts, plains, and near wetlands
Native to Eurasia and is a common weed in North America
No listed status
This species is
to the Truckee Meadows.
Tumble mustard grows from a single stem and branches out to multiple stem clusters (or inflorescence). The inflorescence sprouts groupings of small pale yellow, and on rare occasion white, flowers (or raceme). Tumble mustard grows 5 feet or more in height, making it the tallest species in the mustard family. Tumble mustard has what is known as a taproot system, which is a thick, long main root that sprouts to multiple smaller roots. Tumble mustard is a winter annual or biennial plant species. In other words, their seeds germinate in early spring and winter, and their flowers bloom in mid-spring through early fall.
Tumble mustard is commonly referred to as “Jim Hill mustard.” Jim Hill was the name of an early railroad magnate. The nickname “Jim Hill mustard” refers to tumble mustard’s introduction to North America via railroad.
The Navajo Tribe would mix mashed tumble mustard seeds with goats milk to make porridge.
While tumble mustard is more often found in loose soil types, such as sand, it is known to also grow in compact soil types as well.
Tumble mustard is known for being widespread and resilient, which makes it difficult to pinpoint any one habitat as tumble mustard’s ecosystem, or exclude certain ecosystems as potential habitats.1 The following is a list of habitats that tumble mustard could potentially be found in: mountain grasslands, plains grasslands, prairie, desert grasslands, and wet grasslands.
While tumble mustard can be found throughout Canada and the US, it is most commonly invasive in the western region of the US.
Here in Northern Nevada, tumble mustard has been spotted at Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and Hidden Valley Regional Park, both in June 2020, according to iNaturalist reportings.
Fire Effects Information System, SPECIES: Sisymbrium altissimum, 2021, https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/sisalt/all.html
US Department of Agriculture, Sisymbrium altissimum L. tall tumble mustard, 2021, https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/java/reference?symbol=SIAL2
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Tumble Mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum), 2021, http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/WEEDS/tumble_mustard.html
IUCN Red List, Tumble Mustard, 2021, https://www.iucnredlist.org/search?query=Tumble%20Mustard&searchType= species
Native American Ethnobotany Database, Brassicaceae Sisymbrium altissimum L., 2021, http://naeb.brit.org/uses/species/3691/
iNaturalist, Washoe County - Tumble Mustard, 2021, https://www.inaturalist.org/places/washoe-county#q=tumble%2Bmustard
Image: Melissa McMasters, https://www.flickr.com/photos/cricketsblog/50334726687/, license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, cropped from original.
Image: nature80020, https://www.flickr.com/photos/nature80020/14268313999/, license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, cropped from original.
Image: Andrey Zharkikh, https://www.flickr.com/photos/zharkikh/34509258214/, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, cropped from original.
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