|Range of T. caerulescens within the United States|
Thlaspi caerulescens, Alpine Pennycress and also known as Alpine Pennygrass, is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae. It is found in the Western United States, Scandinavia, and Europe. It has a basal rosette out of which grows "one or several short, unbranched stems that have small, arrow-shaped leaves and end in dense racemes of tiny white flowers."
Thlaspi caerulescens is a low biennial or perennial plant that has small basal rosettes of stalked elliptic–lanceolate leaves with entire margins. The one or more flowering stems have small stalkless, alternate leaves clasping the stem. The inflorescence is a dense raceme which continues to lengthen after flowering. The individual flowers are regular, with white or pinkish petals and are about 5 mm (0.2 in) wide. Each has four sepals, four petals, six stamens (four long and two short) with violet anthers, and a single carpel. The fruit is many-seeded and narrowly spatulate and has a notched tip. This plant flowers in late spring.
Distribution and habitat
In the United States Thlaspi caerulescens, Alpine Pennycress, is found almost completely to the west of a line joining Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. In Europe it is found in Finland and Sweden, in all but the most northerly regions. It is also found in the Alps, the Massif Central, the Pyrenees, eastern Norway, southern Germany, and northern England. It is a plant of dry hillside meadows, forest margins, banks, gardens, lawns, pastures, field margins, yards and bare places.
In addition to being just a wildflower, Alpine Pennycress has been cited in phytoremediation to have special phytoextractional properties and is known to absorb cadmium with very good results and in certain instances is said to have absorbed zinc as well.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (2005). "Thlaspi montanum". Native Plant Information. Retrieved 11 February 2006.
- "Alpine Pennycress". NatureGate. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- "Backskärvfrö". Den virtuella flora. Naturhistoriska riksmuseet. 25 October 2004. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
- Comis, D. (2000). "Phytoremediation: using plants to clean up soils". Agricultural Research. Retrieved 4 March 2006.