Annual to perennial herbs, usually glabrous. Leaves often glossy, margins usually bluntly toothed, lower leaves pinnately lobed with larger terminal lobe, upper leaves becoming more or less sessile and stem-clasping. Inflorescence a raceme. Sepals suberect, inner pair saccate; petals clawed, yellow; stamens 6. Fruit elongate (more than 3 times as long as broad), quadrangular in section, dehiscent, glabrous; style 0.5–2 mm long, slightly bilobed; valves convex, with prominent midvein and weaker reticulate lateral veins; seeds in 1 row per locule.
About 20 species of temperate regions; 2 native and 2 naturalised in Australia.
Barbarea is usually glabrous (often with dark green, shiny lower leaves) and has elongate fruits with a short persistent style, a single row of seeds per locule and convex valves with a prominent midrib.