Weed Seed: Ball mustard (Neslia paniculata)

Family

Brassicaceae

Synonyms

Myagrum paniculatum

Distribution in Canada

Found in Canada

Duration of life cycle

Annual or winter annual

Seed/Fruit type

Single-seeded pod (does not split open at maturity)

Seed identification features

Size

  • pod length and thickness: 1.5–2.0 mm
  • pod width: 2.0–2.5 mm

Shape

  • pod: oval to globular
  • seed: oval to obovate (upside-down egg shape), with prominent seed root

Surface texture

  • pod: network of ridges (fine network of lines between ridges)
  • seed: slightly wrinkled, with a sheen

Colour

  • pod: light brown to medium brown
  • seed: orange

Other structures

  • ball mustard is usually encountered in the pod
  • naked seed is oily and fragile

Similar species

White ball-mustard (Calepina irregularis)

  • native to Europe; found only in Virginia and North Carolina
  • pods are similar to ball mustard in size (white ball-mustard is ~0.5 mm larger), oval shape and presence of a single seed
  • pod is covered by a network of ridges (ridges are more widely spaced than those on ball mustard pod)
  • one end of pod is drawn into a point

Photos

Photo - Ball mustard (Neslia paniculata) pod
Ball mustard (Neslia paniculata) pod
Photo - Ball mustard (Neslia paniculata) seed (hilum visible at bottom)
Ball mustard (Neslia paniculata) seed (hilum visible at bottom)
Photo - Ball mustard (Neslia paniculata) pods and seed
Ball mustard (Neslia paniculata) pods and seed

Similar species

Photo - Similar species: White ball-mustard (Calepina irregularis) pods
Similar species: White ball-mustard (Calepina irregularis) pods
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