Sisymbrium irio

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London Rocket
Sisymbrium irio flower.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Sisymbrium
Species: S. irio
Binomial name
Sisymbrium irio
L.

London rocket, Sisymbrium irio, is a herbal plant in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual herb exceeding three feet in height with open, slender stem branches. The flowers are small with four pale yellow petals. The basal leaves are broad and often lobed, while the upper leaves are linear in shape and up to four inches long. The fruit is a long narrow cylindrical silique which stays green when ripe. The younger pods overtop the flowers. When dried the fruit has small red oblong seeds.

The common name "London rocket" comes from its abundance after the Great Fire of London in 1666.[1] It was also noticed on bomb sites after the Blitz,[2][3] but not to the same extent.[4]

This species is considered a weed in some areas.

Uses[edit]

London rocket is used in the Middle East to treat coughs and chest congestion, to relieve rheumatism, to detoxify the liver and spleen, and to reduce swelling and clean wounds.[5] The Bedouin use the leaf of London Rocket as a tobacco substitute.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A.R. Clapham, E.F. Warburg, T.G. Tutin. Flora of the British Isles. 
  2. ^ London at War, 1939–1945, p. 243, at Google Books
  3. ^ In Search of London, p. 103, at Google Books
  4. ^ The Ecology of Transportation, p. 11, at Google Books
  5. ^ Lev, Efraima (2003) "Sisymbrium irio" Medicinal substances in Jerusalem from early times to the present day Archaeopress, Oxford, UK, p. 62, ISBN 978-1-84171-490-5
  6. ^ Bailey, Clinton and Danin, Avinoam (1981) "Bedouin Plant Utilization in Sinai and the Negev" Economic Botany 35(2): pp. 145-162, p. 158

References[edit]

  • Everitt, J.H.; Lonard, R.L.; Little, C.R. (2007). Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press.  ISBN 0-89672-614-2
  • Ray, Jarren et al. (2005) "Moisture and Temperature Requirements for London Rocket (Sisymbrium irio) Emergence" Weed Science 53(2): pp. 187–192