Notes black Mustard

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Matthew 13:31-32 (KJV)

FIGURE 1.15 Black Mustard (Brassica nigra).

Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches."

Matthew 13:31-32 (RSV)

Another illustration he set before them, saying, "The kingdom of the heavens is like a mustard grain which a man took and planted in his field; which is, in fact, the tiniest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the largest of the vegetables and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and find lodging among its branches."

Matthew 13:31-32 (NWT)

Zohary favors Brassica nigra, the black mustard, as the grain of mustard seed in the Bible. As an Israeli botanist, he would certainly know better than I that Brassica nigra is the tallest of the local species of Brassica and closely related Sinapis, and that its seeds are small (circa 1 mm). But he also admits that "The Greek sinapis is undoubtedly 'mustard'." No need to quibble about whether it is the least of seed or not. (I suspect a mustard seed is a hundred times heavier than orchid seed, even than Artemisia annua seed.) I suspect that in biblical times, as in Maryland fields in spring, few but botanists make distinctions between the Brassica and Sinapis. Many writers do not distinguish between black, brown (Indian), and white mustard (Brassica nigra, Brassica juncea, and Sinapis alba, respectively) but the spice and medicine trades seem to favor the white. And the canola and rapeseed varieties have been hopelessly manipulated, even in the GMO field. Few if any taxono-mists and agronomists can distinguish all Brassica varieties and species, and probably fewer chemists, herbalists, pharmacists, and physicians can be sure of the variety or species. My entries can be no more reliable than their sources. Seems as though the group might better be treated generically than specifically or varietally. Black mustard is cultivated for its seeds, one source of commercial table mustard, and used as a condiment and medicine. Seeds also contain both a fixed and an essential oil, used as a condiment, lubricant, and soap constituent. Black mustard is mixed with white mustard (Sinapis alba) to make mustard flour, used in various condiments as "English Mustard" when mixed with water, and "Continental Mustard" with vinegar. The leaves are eaten as a potherb. Mustard flowers are good honey producers. In agriculture, mustard is also used as a cover crop. Smoke from burning plants may repel flies and mosquitoes (BIB).

Common Names (Black Mustard):

Aslrai (Hindi; KAB); Bilesasive (Kan.; KAB); Black Mustard (Eng.; CR2; WIN); Ch'ing Cheih (China; EFS); Chou Noir (Fr.; BOU); Fekete Mustar (Hun.; EFS); Gruener Senf (Ger.; KAB); Kalirai (Guj.; KAB); Kalo Tori (Nepal; NPM); Kalorai (India; EFS); Khardal (Arab.; BOU); Khar-dal Aswad (Arab.; BOU; HJP); Khurdal (Arab.; KAB); Kuro Garashi (Japan; TAN); Libdan (Arab.; BOU); Libsan (Arab.; BOU); Lifsan (Arab.; BOU); Mostarda (Mad.; JAD); Mostarda Negra (Por.; EFS); Mostarda Ordinario (Por.; EFS); Mostaza Negra (Sp.; EFS); Mosterd (Dutch; KAB); Moutarde Noir (Fr.; BOU); Napi (Greek; KAB); Navuce Rouge (Fr.; KAB); Raisarisha (Beng.; KAB); Rayo (Nepal; SUW); Sansonv (Kon.; KAB); Sar Shaf (Iran; EFS); Sarsan (Bom.; KAB); Sarshapa (Sanskrit; EFS); (Ger.; EFS); Schwartzer Senf (Ger.; EFS); Senapa (It.; KAB); Senapa Nera (Malta; KAB); Senape Nera (It.; EFS); Senep (Den.; KAB); Sénevé Noir (Fr.; BOU); Senfkohl (Ger.; EFS); Siya Hardal (Tur.; EFS); Sort Sennep (Den.; EFS); True Mustard (Eng.; KAB); Tzu Cheih (China; EFS); Xawipanatek (Hocak; WIN); Yungs-nag (Tibet; NPM); Zwarte Mosterd (Dutch; EFS).

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