Descurainia sophia

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Descurainia sophia
Descurainia sophia eF.jpg
Scientific classification
D. sophia
Binomial name
Descurainia sophia

Sisymbrium sophia L.

Descurainia sophia is a member of the mustard family.[1] Common names include flixweed, herb-Sophia and tansy mustard.[2] It reproduces by seeds. It is a dominant weed in dark brown prairie and black prairie soils of southern Alberta.[3] Its stem is erect, branched, and 4–30 in (10–76 cm) high.[4] It was once given to patients suffering from dysentery and called by ancient herbalists Sophia Chirurgorum, "The Wisdom of Surgeons".[5] It is the type species of the genus Descurainia and of the rejected genus Sophia Adans.[6][7]

Culinary use[edit]

In Iran, the seeds are called khak-e shir (khakshir), and khak-e shir drinks are traditionally favored as thirst quencher during hot summer days. Khakshir is also considered a medicinal substance in traditional Iranian medicine, consumed in varying combinations with other herbs and substances to gain effects ranging from antidiuretic to aphrodisiac.


In German, it is called the Sophienkraut and associated with Saint Sophia of Rome, who was invoked against late frosts.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb ex Prantl". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 12 November 2014 – via The Plant List.
  2. ^ "Descurainia sophia". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  3. ^ Wyatt, Newton, Bowser and Odynsky, 1942. Soil Survey of Blackfoot and Calgary Sheets
  4. ^ "Flixweed". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  5. ^ - A Modern Herbal | Mustards
  6. ^ Index Nominum Genericorum
  7. ^ Tropicos
  8. ^ Ekkart Sauser (1995). "Sophia von Rom". In Bautz, Traugott (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 10. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 807–808. ISBN 3-88309-062-X.