Thlaspi arvense

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Thlaspi arvense
Thlaspi arvense.jpeg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Thlaspi
Species: T. arvense
Binomial name
Thlaspi arvense

Thlaspi arvense, known by the common name field pennycress,[1] is a flowering plant in the cabbage family Brassicaceae.


A foetid, hairless annual plant plant up to 60 cm having round, flat, winged pods with a deep apical notch.[2]:421


It is native to temperate regions of Eurasia, but is a naturalized introduced species throughout temperate North America and therefore has a circumpolar distribution. In the British Isles it is regarded as an archaeophyte (an ancient introduction).[3]


Field pennycress is a weed of cultivated and wasteland.[3]

Edible uses[edit]

The field pennycress has a bitter taste; it is usually parboiled to remove the bitter taste. This is mostly used in salads, sometimes in sandwich spreads. It is said to have a distinctive flavour.

Use as a source of biodiesel[edit]

Pennycress is being developed as an oilseed crop for production of renewable fuels.[4][5] The species can be planted in the fall, will germinate and form a vegetative mass which can overwinter. In the spring, the oil-rich seed can be harvested and used as a biodiesel feedstock.


Pennycress is related to the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. Researchers have begun studying the genetics of pennycress in order to improve its potential use as a biofuel crop. For example, the transcriptome of pennycress has been sequenced.[6]



  1. ^ "Thlaspi arvensis". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521707725. 
  3. ^ a b "Online Atlas of the British & Irish flora: Thlaspi arvense, Field pennycress". London, U.K.: Biological Records Centre and Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  4. ^ Arvegenix LLC website
  5. ^ Field pennycress shows feedstock potential
  6. ^ De novo assembly of the pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) transcriptome provides tools for the development of a winter cover crop and biodiesel feedstock. Kevin M. Dorn, Johnathon D. Fankhauser, Donald L. Wyse, M. David Marks. The Plant Journal. doi:10.1111/tpj.12267