A good bee and butterfly plant. Often grown in the flower garden, it is occasionally cultivated for its root.
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a light soil. Prefers partial shade but also succeeds in full sun. Established plants tolerate drought.
Plants are hardy to about -15°c.Sow early spring (or early autumn in mild climate) in situ. The plant will often self-sow. Germinates in 1 - 3 weeks.
Seed - cooked. A pungent flavour, they are used as a mustard substitute. The pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed - an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 - 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild bitter mustard.
Unripe raw seed add a mustard-like flavours in salads.
Root - raw. Used before the plant produces flowers.