Sinapis arvensis is also known as Brassica arvensis, Brassica Kkaber, Charlock, or Carlock, Com Mustard, Field Kale, Kedlock, Kinkle, Wild Kale, or Wild Mustard is a herbaceous plant from the family of Brassicaceae of plants. A relative of the species which is grown for mustard. It does produce a lot of seeds but mustard we eat is not from this variety.
Sinapis arvensis is an annual that grows between 20cm to 80cm or 8in to 32in. It is native to Eurasia and North Africa and grows both in fields and mountains. It flowers between May and September with bright yellow flowers. It attracts butterflies and especially the Pieris rap and Pieris napi variety. The stems have coarser hair toward the base and the leaves are petiolate. This plant was also first introduced in Species Plantarum by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
The leaves are of Sinapis arvensis are edible when young and it was a food that was common during the Irish potato famine, but it did cause stomach upset. The mature leaves are bitter. The flowering stems can also be cooked and they have a taste similar to cabbage and radish, they are best steamed for about 5 minutes. The flowers can be used as a garnish or cooked. The plant is considered poisonous once the seedpods have been produced. The seeds, dark-red or brown, can be made into mustard but it is not the kind used commercially. Mustard produced commercially or in cooking is Sinapis alba for yellow and white mustard; Brassica juncea for brown mustard; Brassica nigra for black mustard. Propagate by seed. Sinapis arvensis is a wildflower and easy to grow, no pruning, and pest and disease=free. It is a larval food source for butterflies and the seeds a food source for birds. It prefers more alkaline soil. Plant it in the sun as it does not like shade.