Yellow rocket

Not all weeds get a “cool” common name, but yellow rocket (Barbarea vulgaris) is one of them.
Yellow rocket - Articles


Photo: John D. Byrd; Mississippi State University,

Yellow rocket can be a winter annual or biennial and reproduces from seed. Seeds germinate in the spring or fall. Young leaves are round or egg-shaped and on short stalks. The first year of development ends as a basal rosette of foliage. The flowering stems are produced during the second year, and can eventually exceed two feet in height.

Yellow rocket is a member of the mustard family and is the earliest to flower in that group. The lower leaves become lobed, while the stem leaves develop deeper indentations. Foliage is thick and dark green. Yellow flowers are produced in the spring. They are produced at the upper stem and grouped in clusters, which makes them quite noticeable.

The fruit is long (approximately an inch) and sharp at the tip. At maturity, the fruit splits into two sections and the seeds are released. The fruiting stalk remains all summer if not mowed.

Yellow rocket can be a problem in turf, nursery production or in the landscape. In turfgrass, always try to maintain optimum conditions for turf growth. Yellow rocket produces a tap root, but can be hand removed when small. There are no pre-emergent herbicides to use against yellow rocket.

Post emergent herbicides are limited to:

  • 2,4-D + MCPP + dicamba
  • diquat
  • flumioxazin (SureGuard)
  • glyphosate

Remember to always read the label for specific application sites, precautions and mix rates.