Field Penny-Cress   
Foto info
Field Penny-Cress
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Field Penny-Cress
Botanical name: Thlaspi arvense    Family: Brassicaceae (Mustard family)
Synonyms: Thlaspi collinum, Crucifera thlaspi, Thlaspidium arvense

Field Penny-Cress is a hairless, annual or biennial herb 1-2 ft tall, branching occasionally. Plants form a rosette of leaves up to 6 inches across. These leaves are oblanceolate or obovate and have long stalks. Older plant develop a central stem and several side stems. These stems are hairless, ribbed, and winged along some of the ribs. The hairless alternate leaves are up to 4 inches long and 1 inch across. They are lanceolate, oblanceolate, or narrowly ovate, and have slightly wavy margins with a few blunt teeth. The lower leaves have short petioles or they are sessile, while the middle to upper leaves clasp the stem. At the base of each middle or upper leaf, there is a pair of ear-like lobes that clasp the stem and taper to a blunt point. Both the central stem and upper side stems terminate in erect racemes of small white flowers. Initially, the flowers bloom near the tip of a raceme, which later lengthens to about 3-8 inches as it matures. Each flower is about 3 mm across when fully open and has 4 white petals and 4 green sepals. Each flower is replaced by a seedpod up to 1.5 cm across that is nearly circular, with 2 cells, each containing several seeds, which are surrounded by a wide membranous wing. There is a small notch at the top of each seedpod. Field Penny-Cress is native to temperate Eurasia, including large parts of China. In India it is found in Bhutan and Kashmir, at altitudes of 1000-5000 m. Flowering: March-October.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Pahalgam, Kashmir.
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