Ooopps...there Goes Another North American Ecosystem, or Will the Mojave Desert and the Sonoran Desert, along with the native vegetation of four National Parks, disappear within our lifetime?

The Desert Exotic Invasive Mustards or "Dude, where's my Desert Ecosystem?" or "Did you want Mustard on that desert ecosystem?" or "Got Mustard?" or the
"No Mustards Left Behind" program

Edited, published and text and photos are Copyright © 2005 by Craig Dremann of The Reveg Edge (sm). P.O. Box 361, Redwood City, Cal. 94064. Phone (650) 325-7333 email
The URL of this issue is: or - No. 17- April-July, 2005

Index of all the Juicy Gossips at

The Three Desert Exotic Invasive Mustards: "Exotic, Invasive Mustard No. 1" Sisymbrium or London Rocket

The "Exotic, Invasive Mustard No. 1" Sisymbrium irio
or London Rocket
-- in the town of Baker, this exotic will probably help cause the collapse of the Mojave ecosystem, and finish the job started by the other exotics, like Red Brome, Filaree and Schismus.

LUCERNE VALLEY, solid Mustard to the horizon, off Cal. Hwy. 247 in abandoned agricultural lands. This species was first seen in the Mojave as just a few acres along Cal. Hwy 247, just eight years ago, where a pipeline right-of-way had been replanted. Now this species covers hundreds of miles of desert roadsides, and is making solid stands in the richest soils, such as the agricultural valleys and around the bases of creosote bushes.

Mustard along Cal. Hwy 58 in the town of Hinkley, a few miles west of Barstow, solid in abandoned agriculture fields, moving in from the roadsides.

Source of Original infestation:

1.) Caltrans contractors and roadside right-of-way projects using contaminated straw used for roadside erosion control in construction projects. (Hwy 247)

2.) Original source of California Mojave infestation = Cal. Hwy 247.

3.) Current centers and major sources of infestations are the abandoned agricultural fields around Hinkley and Lucerne Valley.

Infestation currently spread:

1.) Caltrans roadside grading of shoulder, spreading seeds and plants along road edge, and Caltrans not making certified weed-free straw mandatory for roadside construction projects.

Many thanks for the help in plant identifications, from:

---Dr. Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz, Head of the Department of Asian Botany, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, checking specimens December 2005

Back to main Saharan mustard web page

Updated December 24, 2022 - The Reveg Edge Ecological Restoration service