Weeds: Blue mustard (Purple mustard, Tenella mustard) – Chorispora tenella

categories: A-B Weeds

revision date: 2024-06-21 04:40

  • Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
  • Cycle: Winter annual
  • Plant type: Broadleaf
Blue mustard with flowers.
Blue mustard with flowers
Photo by: J.A. Kropf


Blue mustard is a leafy, taprooted winter annual. Plants branch primarily from the base, with some branching of the flowering stems, as well. The rosette leaves of seedling plants are deeply lobed or toothed. Mature plants are six to eighteen inches tall, with nearly unlobed leaves that are toothed or wavy. Flowering stems are leafy on the lower portions. Both leaves and stems are covered with gland-tipped hairs which make the plants feel sticky. The four-petalled flowers appear in early spring, and are purple to somewhat pinkish. Seed-pods are thin, slightly curved, elongate and seedless (sterile) for about 1/3 of their length. Unlike the seed-pods of many other mustards, which split open along the length of the pod at maturity, blue mustard pods break apart crosswise into two-seeded sections


Blue mustard is a weed of fields and waste places. It is common east of the Cascades.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Cultivation (rototilling or hoeing) will effectively eliminate plants.
  • Apply organic mulches, such as bark, compost, grass clippings, straw, and other materials, in a layer from two to several inches thick for effective weed management.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Apply according to label instructions.
  • Not a problem in established turf areas.
  • Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only!
  • NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination.
  • Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas

  • dichlobenil
  • glyphosate

Turf areas

  • No products approved for use in turf.

Bare ground areas

  • dichlobenil
  • glyphosate

Additional Images