Winter-cress - Barbarea vulgaris

    Alternative names
    Common Winter-cress

    Medium to tall hairless plant. Basal leaves with 2 to 5 pairs of lateral lobes, uppermost leaves unlobed, toothed. Flowers bright yellow, 7 to 9 mm, in often branched racemes. Buds hairless, fruit 15 to 30 mm stiffly erect.

    Similar Species

    other Barbarea; other yellow crucifers

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Basal leaves pinnate; seed-pods appressed (folded up against stem); upper leaves simple or lobed < halfway to midrib; flower-buds glabrous

    Recording advice

    General photo of plant in habitat; details of basal and stem leaves. 


    Water margins, damp meadows and ditches.

    When to see it

    May to August.

    Life History

    Biennial or perennial.

    UK Status

    Fairly common throughout Britain especially in the south-east.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 393 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Native, 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