Field pennycress

Thlaspi arvense L. Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Life cycle

Erect winter or summer annual.


Leaves initially develop from a basal rosette. Lower leaves are oval to spatula-shaped with wavy to slightly toothed margins, rounded tips and distinct petioles. Upper leaves are alternate with toothed to smooth margins and clasping bases. Basal leaves fall off before maturity.

field pennycress rosette field pennycress upper leaf
Field pennycress rosette (left) and upper leaf (right).


Erect, mostly 2-foot-tall stems with varied branching bolt from a basal rosette to flower.

Flowers and fruit

White flowers with four small petals are found in terminal clusters. Fruit are flat, round to oval, distinctly winged, .5 inch-wide pods with a prominent notch at the tip.

field pennycress flowering cluster field pennycress fruit
Field pennycress flowering cluster (left) fruit (right).



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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.