AUSTRIAN FIELDCRESS, Rorippa
austriaca (Crantz) Bess. 1, plant in bloom; 2, root and base
of plant; 3, flower; 4, seed pod; 5, seed. Perennial,
reproducing by rhizomes and occasionally by seeds. Stems erect or
ascending, branching at the top, smooth, 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) tall.
Leaves alternate. Upper leaves clasping the stem; lowermost leaves
larger, with petioles, and more distinctly toothed than those on upper
part of plant. Flowers with 4 small yellow petals, in loose clusters
at tips of branches. Seed pods small, nearly spherical or
oblong, with a distinct beak at the tip. Seeds small, brown to black,
rough or warty, usually do not develop in northern regions. Found
rarely in pastures, cropland, and waste areas, but regarded as a troublesome
weed because it is very persistent. Spread chiefly by rhizome fragments.