Bittercress, Barbarea vulgaris

Bittercress (Barbarea vulgaris), also commonly known as Herb Barbara, Rocketcress, Yellow Rocketcress, Winter Rocket, and Wound Rocket, is a European biennial herb. This plant displays a rosette of shiny, dark green leaves at the base and additional pinnately divided leaves on the stem. In the spring, yellow flowers originate in tightly packed terminal groups just above the foliage.

Bittercress grows wildly as a weed in many parts of North America. The flowers can be in bloom May through October. Ideal climates of moist, disturbed fields promote healthy growth with plant heights reaching between 8 to 32 inches.

Uniquely, the plant is naturally resistant to certain insect species. In specific, with the Diamondback Moth, the resistance is due to saponins in the plant. Other plant chemicals in this species attract insects like Cabbage White Butterflies. These chemicals include glucosinolates, glucobarbarin, and glucobrassicin.