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I have several instances of this yellow flower growing around my property (usually in my lawn grass). As far as I know, it isn't anything that was ever intentionally cultivated.

This is in the American northeast, but it looks suspiciously like something that also grew at my old house in the midwest (but that was over a decade ago and I have no way to verify).

It looks a little like rapeseed, but the leaves don't look right? Also, it seems to be a perennial, or at least, tends to grow back in the same spot for multiple years, whereas if I am understanding correctly, rapeseed is an annual.

Anyway, here's a picture. In theory I can go take more pictures if it would be helpful (maybe someone can suggest what I should try to photograph, specifically?). The pipes are part of a livestock gate, probably 1"-2" diameter, so that may help give a sense of scale. In this picture, I would guess the stalks are 6"-12" tall, but I've seen them grow to maybe 24" or so. (This picture was taken a few days ago, so late spring, specifically late May.)

enter image description here

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Indeed it appears to be in the mustard family along with rapeseed. The photo has nice flowers, but look very carefully for the fruits forming which should be in the form of a short pod which contains a number of small seeds. These plants are much mixed up with bedstraw which does not help in viewing leaves. Wild mustard often has a hairy bottom and red/purple in parts along the stem. It is a highly variable species but your height observations fit with the description.

It is a prolific seeder and self propagates very easily in the same place as an annual even if the ground is disturbed. Easy to pull, it makes nice compost.

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  • I think you're right; I took another look and as you noted, what I thought were the flower's leaves, aren't. It does seem likely that it's some variant of brassica. – Matthew Jun 8 at 16:51

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