Scientific NameThlaspi arvense
Other Common Names:
Seedlings have spoon-shaped cotyledons 4-10 mm long and 2-6 mm wide with stalks that can reach 7 mm in length. Mature plants reach heights of up to 80 cm tall and have a slender taproot with fibrous secondary roots. Plants are pale-green but turn yellow soon after flowering. This specimen has a strong turnip odor.
Field pennycress has smooth, stalkless, oblong leaves, with toothed to smooth margins. Leaves have lobes at the base where they clasp the stem. The egg-shaped leaves of the basal rosette are absent by maturity.
Round flat notched fruit, small white flowers, and turnip odor.
Flower Seed Head
Appearing April through June flowers are 3-4 mm across with 4 white petals 3-4 mm long. Flowers are found in clusters on the ends of the branches.
Fruit is flat and round with a 2 mm notch at the apex. Each fruit has 2 chambers each containing 2-8 seeds. Dark brown seeds with 10-14 circular, granular ridges on each side. Plants may produce as many as 15,000 seeds .
Mostly in the northeastern states This plant can be a real problem in row crops, gardens, and other cultivated crops.
upright and nonwoody,
prostrate and nonwoody
Thorns or Spines
Approximate Flower Diameter
Dominant Flower Color
shorter than leaf
Stem Cross Section
round or oval