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a genus of plants of the family Cruciferae. They are annual or perennial herbs with pinnatipartite or pinnatifid leaves. The petals are yellow; the fruit is a silique. There are approximately 90 species of Sisymbrium, found primarily in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, South America (the Andes), and southern Africa. In the USSR there are about 25 species, found along rocky slopes and on the steppes and as weeds in fields, gardens, kitchen gardens, and along roads. Among the widely distributed annual or wintering weeds of the temperate belt are 5. loeselii and hedge mustard (S. officinalis). In southern European Russian and Middle Asia the wintering weed tumbling mustard (S. altissimum) is common, and Volga mustard (S. volgense), which is propagated by root shoots, is found around the lower reaches of the Volga, the Don, and in the Northern Caucasus. 5. polymorphum grows in Middle Asia.
Weed species of Sisymbrium form many small seeds, which contain up to 30 percent fatty oil. They grow well at temperatures of 10°-15°C and come up from a depth of not more than 3 cm. Many species of Sisymbrium are harmful or toxic plants, whose seeds contain glycosides of the sinigrin type, which break down and form mustard oils with a pungent smell and burning taste. The weeds can be controlled by autumn harrowing of winter crop plantings, timely care of plowed crops, and the application of herbicides.
In pastures and fallow lands S. altissimum and S. loeselii are eaten when young by camels and sheep and make good silage. The seeds of some species of Sisymbrium are used in Asia instead of mustard.
Guliavnik, the Russian name for Sisymbrium, is infrequently used to describe species of the genus Descurainia of the family Cruciferae. D. sophia, an annual weed that attacks mainly winter crops, is common in the USSR. Control measures are the same as those for the genus Sisymbrium.
REFERENCESSornye rasteniia SSSR, vol. 3. Leningrad, 1935.
Kormovye rasteniia senokosov i pastbishch SSSR, vol. 2. Edited by I. V. Larin. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
Gusynin, I. A. Toksikologiia iadovitykh rastenii, 4th ed. Moscow,1962.
L. I. KAZAKEVICH