Field pennycress Thlapsi arvense L.
Family: Brassicaceae (Mustard family)
Life cycle: Winter annual
Habitat: Alfalfa and no-till fields; disturbed areas
General description: Young plants produce a basal rosette of waxy, glabrous leaves; stem reaches height of 18 to 24 in. Stem leaves have auricles that clasp leaves. Flowers are white; fruit are flat, circular (0.5 in diameter) with distinct ‘wings’.
Key ID traits: Light green, smooth leaves with wavy or slightly toothed margins. Crushed leaves emit garlicky odor. Circular, winged fruit approximately 1/2" in diameter.
Miscellaneous: Milk from dairy cattle that graze or eat hay with field pennycress has a garlicky flavor. Research efforts have focused on developing field pennycress as a crop due to the characteristics of oils in the seed.