Brassica juncea (Indian or Brown Mustard)
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Eurosid II > Order: Brassicales > Family: Brassicaceae > Genus: Brassica
Originates from the hybridisation of Brassica nigra and
B. campestris which probably happened in South Western Asia and India.
Nowadays grown mainly for making mustard.
This species originated from the hybridisation of Brassica
nigra with Brassica campestris and this probably happened in South
Western Asia and India where the natural distribution of the two species
overlaps. Like B. nigra, it has been grown for oilseed, greens and as a
spice. Prior to the 1940's, B. juncea was considered to be inferior
to B. nigra in the making of mustard but in the 1940's a new
yellow-seeded variety of B. juncea was imported into the USA from China
and became widely cultivated because, unlike B. nigra, it could be
mechanically harvested. This is because this particular variety of B. juncea
retains its seeds till after mechanical harvesting whereas all the B. nigra varieties
have seeds that fall from the plant unless harvested when ripe by hand which is
a lot more time consuming especially as this harvesting has to be done
repeadedly through the growing season.
Sauer, J.D. 1993. Historical geography of
crop plants - a select roster. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.