Barbarea vulgaris

Family: Cruciferae

Native to: Europe


Types: biennial, perennial

Forms: clumping, erect

Max height: 3.3 feet

Max width: 2 feet






Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, bee, specific butterfly species

Plant features: invasive, weedy

Edible: vegetable

Exposure: part shade, sun

Landscape use: container



Propagates by: seed

flowers in spring

flowers in summer

Soil type: wide range

USDA Zones: zone 4 -30 f, zone 5 to -20 f, zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: -30 to +30 °F

Water: dry, moderate

  • Barbarea vulgaris 2
  • Barbarea vulgaris 3
  • Barbarea vulgaris 4
  • Barbarea vulgaris 5
  • Barbarea vulgaris 6
  • Barbarea vulgaris 76
  • Barbarea vulgaris

There are 29 species of Barbarea. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family and is commonly called WINTER CRESS.

Barbarea vulgaris is cultivated and easily grown from seed in Zones 4-9. This plant is edible either raw or cooked. It grows to nearly 3 ½ feet tall in dry to moderate watering conditions, and blooms in spring and summer. It can be grown in a container - an 18-24" or larger container is advised as the plant is rather tall. This plant may prove to be a wildlife magnet to your garden, but be careful, as it can be weedy and is on invasive plant lists in some states. The good news is that it is wildly attractive to bees and the seeds are not air-born.

Barbarea appeals to Phyciodes tharos, Pearl Crescent, and Erynnis icelus, Dreamy Duskywing. Both of these butterflies have a broad range.

Erynnis icelus dreamy duskywing   2 3
Phyciodes tharos 2
Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

You are free to use any of the above filters to reduce the plant list further.