Charlock - Sinapis arvensis


    Medium to tall, bristly plant, lower leaves, large and lyre shaped, upper are lanceolate, not clasping the stem. Flowers yellow, 15 to 20 mm. Fruit 25 to 45 mm long and beaded, sometimes bristly.

    Similar Species

    Oil-seed Rape and White Mustard (Sinapis alba)

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Leaves either un-lobed or with large terminal lobe.  Can be hairy or glabrous. Sepals patent (i.e standing out at right-angles).  Fruits long, with a distinct beak.

    White mustard is similar - deeply pinnately lobed leaves, and fruits are usually bristly-hairy

    Recording advice

    General photo of plant in habitat, and details of flowers and fruits


    Arable fields, waste and disturbed ground, roadsides.

    When to see it

    April to October.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Common throughout much of Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 518 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Alien (archaeophyte); occasional.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map