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  subsp. var.  Mustard
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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Mustard, species of Brassica (which see), chiefly B. alba, B. nigra, B. juncea and B. japonica. There are two types of mustard-growing.—for the leaves, which are used as a vegetable; for the seeds, which yield oil and are used as a condiment. Table mustard (the flour) is the product mostly of B. nigra (Fig. 636, Vol. I), although seeds of B. alba and B. juncea are also used for making it. The mustards often become prolific weeds, particularly in grain-fields; they are now controlled by herbicides (see Weeds). In California, B. nigra covers thousands of acres, thriving best on heavy adobe soils. When the winter rains come, it grows lustily, reaching 16 feet high and more. The bulk of the mustard sold in the United States comes from the county of Santa Barbara, Lompoc being the center of the supply.

As a culinary vegetable, mustard is used for "greens" (which see). For this purpose, the large soft basal leaves are desired. These leaves grow best in early spring, although they do fairly well in autumn. If sown late in the season, the plant makes few bottom leaves and runs quickly to seed. Perhaps the best of the mustards for greens in this country is B. japonica (Fig. 634, Vol. I), a species which has long been grown in this country, but which has no other well-known name than "mustard." This often seeds itself and comes up the following spring. Some of the large-leaved forms of Chinese mustard (B. juncea, Fig. 635) are excellent, and should be better known. One of the oriental species (B. napiformis) makes an edible turnip-like root (Fig. 632, Vol. I). Mustard needs a rich quick soil for the producing of the best foliage. Sow the seeds in drills 1 foot or more apart, and thin to 6 inches in the row.

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