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False London Rocket

Sisymbrium loeselii

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, 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, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
150 centimetres tall
Fields, roadsides, towns, wasteland.

Yellow, 4 petals
The flowers are formed inside a raceme. Each flower is a maximum of 7mm in diameter. Insect pollinated.
Slender, cylindrical pods. Unlike London Rocket (Sisymbrium irio) the seed pods are shorter and never overtop the flowers. The pods are 2 to 4cm long. The seeds are very small.
An annual plant with lance-shaped leaves that have large triangular lobes. More common in London than London Rocket.
Other Names:
Loesel's Mustard, Loesel's Rocket, Small Tumbleweed Mustard, Tall Hedge Mustard.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Sisymbrium loeselii, also known as Loesel's mustard or Loesel's rocket, is a species of flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia, 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 1.5m 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.


False London Rocket (Sisymbrium loeselii) is a plant species that is native to Europe and has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America. It is also known by other common names such as Loesel's Mustard and Loesel's False Rocket.

The False London Rocket is a biennial or short-lived perennial plant that grows up to one meter tall. It has slender stems that are often branched, and the leaves are pinnately divided with toothed margins. The flowers are small, yellow, and four-petaled, arranged in racemes that can be up to 50 cm long. The fruit is a slender, curved pod that contains numerous seeds.

False London Rocket is a common weed that can be found growing in disturbed habitats, such as roadsides, fields, and gardens. It is considered an invasive species in some regions, such as parts of the United States, where it has been introduced.

Despite its status as a weed, False London Rocket has some interesting properties. For example, it has been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, such as skin rashes, coughs, and digestive problems. In addition, it is believed to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

However, False London Rocket is also toxic to some animals, including horses and cattle. The plant contains glucosinolates, which can cause gastroenteritis and other symptoms in livestock if ingested in large quantities. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with False London Rocket and to take appropriate measures to control its spread, especially in areas where livestock may be present.

False London Rocket (Sisymbrium loeselii) is a plant species that is native to Europe and has been introduced to other parts of the world, where it can be found growing as a common weed. While it has some traditional medicinal uses and interesting properties, it is also considered an invasive species in some regions and can be toxic to some animals. Therefore, it is important to be aware of this plant and to take appropriate measures to manage its presence in different environments.

False London Rocket (Sisymbrium loeselii) has a fascinating history of being mistaken for other plant species, which has led to some confusion and misidentification in the scientific literature. For example, it was originally described as a distinct species in 1798 by the German botanist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber, who named it Sisymbrium loeselii after the Dutch botanist Johann Loesel. However, in the following decades, several other botanists mistakenly identified the plant as other species, such as Sisymbrium irio and Sisymbrium officinale. It was not until the mid-19th century that botanists recognized Sisymbrium loeselii as a distinct species again.

In recent years, False London Rocket has received attention from ecologists and conservation biologists due to its ability to establish in disturbed habitats and outcompete native plant species. In some regions, such as the Great Lakes region of North America, it is considered a threat to native plant communities and efforts are underway to control its spread.

False London Rocket is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes other well-known plants such as broccoli, cauliflower, and mustard. Like many members of this family, False London Rocket contains glucosinolates, which are compounds that are thought to play a role in the plant's defense against herbivores and pathogens. In addition, glucosinolates have been shown to have potential health benefits for humans, such as anti-cancer properties.

In conclusion, False London Rocket (Sisymbrium loeselii) is a plant species with a fascinating history and a range of ecological, medicinal, and toxicological properties. While it can be considered a weed in some regions and a threat to native plant communities, it is also a valuable source of compounds with potential health benefits. As with all plant species, it is important to understand the risks and benefits associated with False London Rocket and to take appropriate measures to manage its presence in different environments.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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