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.

be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map