Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb. ex Prantl.

1198. D. sophia (L.) Webb ex Prantl in Engl, et Prantl, Natürl. Pflanzenfam. III, 2(1891)192; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc. 1(1925) 378; Sisymbrium sophia L., Sp. Pl. ed. 1(1753) 659; Vel., Fl. Bulg. (1891) 33 — Войничица

Fam:   Cruciferae Juss. (Brassicaceae)
Genus:   Descurainia Webb. et Bertth.
Species: Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb. ex Prantl.
English Name: Flixweed, Herb-Sophia and Tansy mustard


Annual to biennial plant. Stem erect (10) 20 - 50 (80) cm high, cylindrical, slightly longitudinally ridged, leafy, branched at the top, soft mossy fibrous or sometimes almost bare; hairs of two types: not branched and double moist branched. Leaves 3 - 16 cm long, most often gray-green, softly mossy, densely covered with double branched hairs, rarely nearly glabrous, double to triple-lobed feathery-like cut; lobes nearly opposite, 5 - 8 on each side, elliptical lance, deeply interrupted feathery-like cut by serrated or slightly sliced ​​lobes; the lower lobes shorter and often catchy include the stem; lobes of last order narrowly ovate or oblong linear to linear, acute. The upper stem leaves and the leaves of the branches to a lesser extent separated, usually only once feathery-like divided by elongate linear to lance lobes. Inflorescences with many flowers at first densely condensed, hemispherical, later in fruits grape-elongated, loose. Flower petioles 4 - 6 mm long, almost twice as long as the flowers, thin, flower buds ovate back. Sepals about 2.5 mm long, erect, narrowly elliptical to almost linear, dull, yellowish green. with a very narrow, white membranous strip at the edge. Petals pale yellow, oblong, narrowly shovel-like, to the base narrowed, almost as long as calyx or shorter, sometimes missing. The stamens are usually longer than the calyx lobes and their anthers protrude beyond the flowers. The petioles of the pods 9 - 11 mm long, almost twice shorter than the pods, thin, straight, most often deviated from the axis of the inflorescence at an angle of 45 - 60 °. The pods are 1.5 - 2 (2.5) cm long and 0.5 - 0.8 mm thick, cylindrical, bare, straight or slightly sickle-shaped inwards, upwards and with the petioles to form a blunt angle (170 °), at the tip thinned by a very short cylindrical style and a whole discoidal stigma. The caps of the pod are slightly convex, slightly rough. Seeds 0.7 - 1 mm long and 0.4 - 0.5 mm wide, one-rowed, in each socket according to (7) 10 - 15, narrowly ovoid elliptical, orange brown, slightly shiny, rarely matt.

Economic importance. The seeds contain 27-30% fatty drying oil and 1.5% glycoside sinigrin, from the decomposition of which 0.8 - 0.9% allyl oil is obtained. The leaves contain vitamin A. The plant is poorly accepted by animals and is considered poisonous, especially seeds. Weed without significant importance for our country. In folk medicine, seeds are used as diuretic and anthelmintic.

From:    „Флора на НР България”, том IV, БАН, София, (1970)

*     *     *

Descurainia sophia is a member of the mustard family.[1] Common names include flixweed, herb-Sophia and tansy mustard.[2] It reproduces by seeds. It is a dominant weed in dark brown prairie and black prairie soils of southern Alberta.[3] Its stem is erect, branched, and 4–30 in (10–76 cm) high.[4] It was once given to patients suffering from dysentery and called by ancient herbalists Sophia Chirurgorum, "The Wisdom of Surgeons".[5] It is the type species of the genus Descurainia and of the rejected genus Sophia Adans.[6][7]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

*     *     *

Flowering Time: Blooms: IV - VII (VIII).

Distribution in Bulgaria: Growing in grassy and stony, ruderalized places in yards and dumps, in old walls, near fences, houses and streets in settlements, along roads and railways. lines, in arable grasslands, such as weeds mainly in older alfalfa and grassland mixtures, and less frequently in winter cereals, in the plains, foothills and in the Western Rhodopes. Widespread, up to 1500 m altitude. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Europe (North to 70 °), Mediterranean, North Africa, Southwest Asia, Caucasus, Central Asia, Siberia; Japan-China Region. Transferred to North and South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: yes, it is medical plant - Medicinal Plants Act -

References: „Флора на НР България”, том IV, БАН, София, (1970), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1. 2. 3. 4.


© K.Nanev


© Copy right: K. Nanev© 2012. All rights reserved