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Russian Rocket

Sisymbrium volgense

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Also in this family:
Alpine Pennycress, Alpine Rock-cress, American Wintercress, Annual Wall Rocket, Austrian Yellowcress, Awlwort, Bastard Cabbage, Black Mustard, Bristol Rock-cress, Charlock, Common Scurvygrass, Common Whitlowgrass, Coralroot, Creeping Yellowcress, Cuckooflower, Dame's-violet, Danish Scurvygrass, Dittander, Early Wintercress, Eastern Rocket, English Scurvygrass, Evergreen Candytuft, False London Rocket, Field Pennycress, Field Pepperwort, Flixweed, Garden Arabis, Garden Candytuft, Garden Cress, Garden Radish, Garden Rocket, Garlic Mustard, Glabrous Whitlowgrass, Gold of Pleasure, Great Yellowcress, Greater Cuckooflower, Greater Periwinkle, Greater Swinecress, Hairy Bittercress, Hairy Rock-cress, Hairy Rocket, Hairy Whitlowgrass, Hedge Mustard, Hoary Cress, Hoary Mustard, Hoary Stock, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Honesty, Horseradish, Hutchinsia, Hybrid Watercress, Intermediate Periwinkle, Isle of Man Cabbage, Large Bittercress, Lesser Swinecress, London Rocket, Lundy Cabbage, Marsh Yellowcress, Mountain Scurvygrass, Narrow-fruited Watercress, Narrow-leaved Bittercress, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Northern Rock-cress, Northern Yellowcress, Oilseed Rape, Perennial Rocket, Perennial Wall Rocket, Perfoliate Pennycress, Pinnate Coralroot, Purple Rock-cress, Pyrenean Scurvygrass, Rock Whitlowgrass, Scottish Scurvygrass, Sea Kale, Sea Radish, Sea Rocket, Sea Stock, Shepherd's Cress, Shepherd's Purse, Small-flowered Wintercress, Smith's Pepperwort, Steppe Cabbage, Swede, Sweet Alyssum, Tall Rocket, Thale Cress, Tower Mustard, Treacle Mustard, Trefoil Cress, Turnip, Wall Whitlowgrass, Wallflower, Wallflower Cabbage, Warty Cabbage, Watercress, Wavy Bittercress, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Fields, roadsides, wasteland.

Yellow, 4 petals
Flowers are in many-flowered clusters at the ends of the branches. 6 stamens.
The fruit is a pods, up to 6cm long. The oval to elliptic seeds are yellowish-brown. The seeds are not much larger than 1mm long.
Linear, stalked, oblong to lance-shaped leaves. The leaves are toothed and more sharply toothed than the similar looking Perennial Rocket (Sisymbrium strictissimum). Perennial.
Other Names:
Volga Mustard.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Sisymbrium volgense, also known as Volga mustard, is a species of flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae. It is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, and typically grows in a variety of habitats including roadsides, fields, and waste places. The plant is an annual herb that can grow up to 1m tall, it has large, lobed leaves and yellow flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. It is considered a weed in many parts of the world due to its invasive nature and its ability to outcompete native plants. The leaves and young shoots are edible, they have a pungent and spicy flavor, and are used in salads, sandwiches and in some culinary dishes. The seeds are also used as a spice. It can be controlled by cultural practices such as hand weeding, mowing and the use of herbicides. It is similar to other Sisymbrium species, but it's considered a more aggressive weed.


The Russian Rocket, also known as Sisymbrium volgense, is a unique and vibrant plant that is native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia. This herbaceous annual belongs to the mustard family (Brassicaceae) and is widely cultivated for its attractive flowers and foliage.


Sisymbrium volgense is a fast-growing plant that can reach up to 2 feet in height. The stem is thin and branched, and the leaves are oblong and deeply lobed, giving the plant a lacy appearance. The leaves are also hairy, giving them a fuzzy texture. The flowers of the Russian Rocket are small and yellow, arranged in clusters at the tips of the stems. The plant blooms in late spring to early summer and produces abundant seeds that can be easily collected for propagation.


The Russian Rocket is an easy-to-grow plant that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It is drought-tolerant and does not require much care once established. It is often grown in flower beds, borders, and rock gardens, where it adds a bright splash of color and texture. The plant can also be grown in containers, making it a great choice for balconies and patios.


Sisymbrium volgense is primarily grown for its ornamental value, but it also has some medicinal uses. In traditional medicine, the plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections, digestive problems, and skin irritations. It is believed that the plant's high concentration of flavonoids and antioxidants contribute to its health benefits.

In addition, the Russian Rocket is a popular choice for use in salads and other culinary dishes. The leaves have a slightly spicy flavor that adds a zesty kick to any dish. The flowers are also edible and can be used as a garnish or added to salads for a pop of color.


The Russian Rocket, or Sisymbrium volgense, is a unique and versatile plant that is easy to grow and adds a beautiful splash of color to any garden. With its delicate foliage, bright yellow flowers, and spicy flavor, it is a great choice for both ornamental and culinary uses. Whether you are an experienced gardener or just starting out, the Russian Rocket is definitely worth considering for your next planting project.

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One of the interesting things about the Russian Rocket is its ability to attract beneficial insects to the garden. The plant is known to attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, which can help to improve the health and productivity of other plants in the garden.

Another noteworthy feature of the Russian Rocket is its adaptability to different growing conditions. It can thrive in a wide range of soil types, from sandy to clay, and is tolerant of both heat and cold. This makes it an excellent choice for gardeners who are looking for a low-maintenance plant that can withstand a variety of weather conditions.

In terms of care, the Russian Rocket is a relatively low-maintenance plant that does not require much attention once it is established. It is important to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged, during the growing season. Deadheading the spent flowers can help to encourage more blooms and prevent the plant from self-seeding excessively.

In some regions, the Russian Rocket has been known to escape cultivation and become an invasive species. This is particularly true in areas with disturbed soils, such as along roadsides and in abandoned fields. As a result, it is important to be mindful of the plant's potential to spread and take measures to prevent its spread into natural areas.

While the Russian Rocket is generally considered safe for consumption, it is important to note that some people may experience an allergic reaction to the plant. As with any new food, it is a good idea to try a small amount first and monitor for any adverse reactions.

The Russian Rocket is not the only member of the Sisymbrium genus that has caught the attention of gardeners and plant enthusiasts. There are several other species within the genus that are also grown for their ornamental value and culinary uses.

For example, Sisymbrium irio, also known as London rocket, is a closely related species that is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Like the Russian Rocket, it has yellow flowers and is sometimes grown as an edible herb. However, it is also considered an invasive weed in some areas, particularly in California and parts of the southwestern United States.

Another related species is Sisymbrium officinale, commonly known as hedge mustard. This plant is also native to Europe and Asia and is sometimes grown as a medicinal herb. It has yellow flowers, but its leaves are less delicate and more deeply lobed than those of the Russian Rocket.

Overall, the Sisymbrium genus is a diverse and interesting group of plants that offers a range of benefits and uses. Whether you are looking to add some color to your garden, flavor to your plate, or natural remedies to your medicine cabinet, there is sure to be a species within the genus that will suit your needs.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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