Easily mistaken for : several other yellow-flowered Crucifers.
Many similarities to :
Chinese Mustard (Brassica juncea) which differs most in the sepals and in the seed-pods but which occurs in far fewer places.
Some similarities to :
White Mustard (Sinapis alba) a yellow-flowered plant, despite the name, but that upper leaves which are both stalked and pinnately lobed.
Slight resemblance to :
Black Mustard (Brassica nigra) but that has a long upper stem of seed-pods which are appressed to the stem.
An archaeopyte which grows in the field borders of arable fields, waste land, land-fill sites, roadsides and other disturbed land, occurring throughout the British Isles.
There are 6 stamens with yellow anthers and the stigma is entire to emarginate.
SINALBIN, A GLUCOSINOLATE
The seeds are poisonous to all but birds. However the young leaves, although hot, may be eaten with a salad. Like many Brassicaceae the plant contains toxic glucosinolates, and in Charlock, one of these is
Sinalbin, named after the Genus Sinapis.
Sinalbin is a glucosinolate which was first found in the seeds of
White Mustard (Sinapis alba) and also occurs in Charlock and many other brassicas. Note that it seems to be rare in the world of secondary metabolites in containing a sulfate ion. Sinalbin is degraded by the enzyme myrosinase into the highly unstable and pungent mustard oil 4-hydroxybenzyl isothiocyanate (not shown), which has a half life of only 1 to 2 hours in the stomach. 4-hydroxybenzyl isothiocyanate itself degrades to the relatively odourless 4-hydroxybenzyl alcohol called
Gastrodigenin (found as is in the rhizome of the plant Gastrodia elata, an orchid found in the Far East) plus a thiocyanate ion, the poisonous element.
Photos required of mature pods showing their beak and and close-up of flowers showing the narrow sepals either spread-out sepals or slightly down-turned, as is found on only half the plants (the other half have patent sepals [upright])