Annual or biennial herbs, erect, with simple hairs or glabrous. Leaves petiolate, pinnately lobed to pinnate, terminal lobe often large and hastate, lateral lobes often deflexed. Inflorescence a raceme. Sepals erect; petals clawed, pale yellow; stamens 6. Fruit narrow-lanceolate to linear, straight or curved, elongate (more than 3 times as long as broad), dehiscent; style small and bilobed; valves with conspicuous midvein and 2 weaker lateral veins; seeds in 1 row per locule.
90 species, in temperate Europe, Asia, North America, southern Africa and South America; 6 species naturalised in Australia.
Sisymbrium is difficult to characterize, but species usually have long, simple hairs and the fruits are typically long and thin, with 3 veins (the lateral 2 sometimes indistinct).