E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Thlaspi arvense L.
field pennycress
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Neil L. Jennings  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9011)

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Distribution of Thlaspi arvense
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems 10-50 cm tall, simple to freely branched, glabrous.
Basal leaves few, shed early, oblanceolate, 2-6 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, sinuate to almost lyrate, narrowed to short stalks, glabrous; upper stem leaves unstalked, with earlike lobes at the bases, lanceolate to oblanceolate, toothed to wavy-margined and lobed, glabrous.
Flower stalks widely spreading to upcurved, 7-15 mm long, slender; petals white, 3-4 mm long; sepals 1.5-2.2 mm long, glabrous.
Silicles, oval to nearly heart-shaped, 10-17 mm long, 9-15 mm wide, strongly obcompressed, slightly notched, sinus 1.5-2.5 mm deep, wing-margined all around; beaks 0.1-0.2 mm long; seeds about 2 mm long, concentrically corrugated.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common throughout BC except rare on the Queen Charlotte Islands and adjacent mainland; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Thlaspi arvense

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 495 859 1530
Slope Gradient (%) 0 5 18
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
72 224 308
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 3 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: IDF(5), MS(1), PP(3)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References