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White Mustard

Sinapis alba

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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, Russian Rocket, 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, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
120 centimetres tall
Fields, wasteland.

Yellow, 4 petals
The bright yellow flowers are in a terminal spike at the top of the plant. Flowers are stalked. Each flower measures up to 2cm in diameter. Pollinated by bees and flies. Also wind pollinated.
The fruit is a hairy cylindrical pod. Each pod contains around 6 round seeds. The pods split open and burst upon ripening. The pods ripen from July to September.
An annual flower with stalkless pinnate leaves.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Sinapis alba, also known as white mustard, is an annual herb that is native to the Mediterranean region and Europe. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family and can grow up to 4 feet tall. It has small, yellow flowers that bloom in the late spring and summer. The leaves are green and lance-shaped, and the plant has a tall, densely branched stem. Sinapis alba is widely cultivated as a crop plant and is used as an ingredient in many culinary dishes and condiments, particularly mustard condiments. The seeds are also used to make oil and flour. It is not commonly used in traditional medicine, but it has been used for medicinal purposes in the past, particularly for treating respiratory issues and skin problems.


White mustard, scientifically known as Sinapis alba, is a plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region but has since spread to other parts of the world, including North America, Asia, and Europe. White mustard is primarily grown for its seeds, which are used to make mustard condiments, and the plant itself has been used for various medicinal purposes.

Physical Characteristics

White mustard is an annual plant that grows up to 4 feet tall. It has yellow flowers that bloom in the summer, and the seeds are produced in pods that grow along the stem. The leaves of the plant are lobed and have a distinctive smell, similar to that of horseradish.

Culinary Uses

White mustard seeds are used to make mustard condiments, which are widely used in cooking and as a condiment. The seeds are ground into a fine powder, which is mixed with vinegar or other liquids to make mustard. The flavor of white mustard is pungent and slightly bitter, making it a popular ingredient in many dishes, including hot dogs, sandwiches, and salad dressings.

In addition to its use in mustard, white mustard seeds can also be used as a spice. The seeds can be toasted and added to dishes to add flavor and texture. White mustard seeds are commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine and are a key ingredient in many spice blends.

Medicinal Uses

White mustard has been used for various medicinal purposes for centuries. The seeds of the plant are high in glucosinolates, which are compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. White mustard seeds also contain antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals.

White mustard has also been used as a traditional remedy for respiratory problems, such as asthma and bronchitis. The plant contains compounds that can help to reduce inflammation in the airways and improve breathing.

Furthermore, white mustard has been used as a digestive aid. The seeds contain enzymes that can help to break down food and improve digestion. The plant has also been used as a diuretic, helping to increase urine output and reduce fluid retention.

In conclusion, white mustard is a versatile plant that has been used for centuries for its culinary and medicinal properties. The seeds of the plant are used to make mustard condiments and as a spice, and the plant itself has been used for various medicinal purposes, including as a digestive aid and respiratory remedy. White mustard is an excellent addition to any kitchen or home remedy collection.

More Information about White Mustard

White mustard has a long history of use in traditional medicine, dating back to ancient Greece and Rome. In addition to its respiratory and digestive benefits, white mustard has been used as a natural remedy for a range of other health issues. For example, it has been used topically as a poultice to relieve pain and inflammation, and as a natural remedy for fever and colds.

White mustard is also a good source of nutrients. The seeds contain high levels of protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids. They also contain a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and iron.

While white mustard is generally considered safe when consumed in food amounts, it is important to note that some people may be allergic to mustard. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to mustard can include skin rash, hives, difficulty breathing, and even anaphylaxis in severe cases. If you are allergic to mustard, it is important to avoid consuming it and to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction.

White mustard has also been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a natural response by the body to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can lead to a range of health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Some studies have suggested that the compounds found in white mustard may help to reduce inflammation in the body, which could have a protective effect against these and other chronic diseases.

In addition, white mustard seeds have been studied for their potential anti-microbial properties. Research has shown that the compounds found in white mustard seeds may help to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and fungi, including E. coli and Candida albicans.

White mustard has also been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to improve mental clarity and alertness. The plant is believed to have a stimulating effect on the mind and body, and has been used to improve memory and focus.

Finally, white mustard is an easy plant to grow and can be a valuable addition to any garden. It is a hardy plant that thrives in cool weather and can be grown in a range of soil types. The seeds can be harvested and used fresh, or they can be dried and stored for later use.

In summary, white mustard is a versatile plant with a range of culinary and medicinal uses. From its potential anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties to its ability to improve mental clarity and alertness, white mustard is a valuable addition to any diet or natural medicine cabinet. And for those interested in gardening, white mustard is a hardy and easy-to-grow plant that can provide a fresh supply of seeds for cooking and medicine.

Facts about White Mustard

Here are some interesting facts about white mustard:

  • White mustard seeds are smaller and less pungent than black mustard seeds, which are from a different plant species.
  • The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that white mustard had medicinal properties and used it to treat a range of ailments.
  • In the Middle Ages, white mustard was used as a condiment to disguise the taste of spoiled meat.
  • In some cultures, white mustard seeds are used as a traditional remedy for toothache and other oral health problems.
  • In addition to being used in food and medicine, white mustard has been used for various other purposes, such as as a natural insect repellent and a dye for textiles.

In conclusion, white mustard is a versatile plant that has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries. Its seeds are used to make mustard condiments and as a spice, while the plant itself has been used for a range of health issues, such as respiratory problems and digestive aid. White mustard also has potential anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and cognitive-enhancing properties, and is easy to grow in a garden. Overall, white mustard is a valuable addition to any kitchen or natural medicine cabinet.


White Mustard filmed in Sizewell, Suffolk on the 1st July 2022.


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