Thlaspi arvense L.

Thlaspi arvense plant

Family - Brassicaceae

Stems - To .75m tall, glabrous, herbaceous, erect, branching above near inflorescence, ribbed, somewhat purplish near base, single or numerous from roots. Roots thickened.

Thlaspi arvense stem

Leaves - Basal leaves in rosette, spatulate, oblong, or narrowly obovate, glabrous, very shallowly toothed or lobed, to +8cm long, 2cm broad, soon wilting. Petiole winged. Cauline leaves alternate, clasping, lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong, glabrous, +/- 6cm long, 2cm broad, coarsely toothed or lobed, auricles pointed.

Inflorescence - Compact terminal racemes, elongating in fruit to +30cm tall(long).

Thlaspi arvense inflorescence

Flowers - Petals 4, white, clawed, to 4mm long, 1.5mm broad, glabrous. Stamens 6, divided into 2 sets of 3 on either side of flattened ovary, included to equaling corolla. Stigma sessile. Sepals 4, free, spreading to erect in flower, with whitish-yellow margins, 2mm long, +1mm broad, ovate, typically glabrous. Pedicels to 1cm long in flower, greatly increased in fruit. Silicles, to +15mm long and wide, with small notch at apex, on pedicels to +2cm long, glabrous, with numerous seeds.

Thlaspi arvense flowers

Thlaspi arvense flowersFlowers close-up.

Thlaspi arvense calyxCalyx close-up.

Thlaspi arvense fruitsFruits.

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Waste ground, disturbed sites, roadsides, railroads, pastures.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This is one of the most easily recognized members of the Brassicaceae because of its large and plentiful fruits which have the characteristic "cabbage" flavor when chewed. Like most of the other introduced members of this family, it is abundant.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 5-11-00, and at Danville Conservation Area, Danville, MO., 4-1-04 and 5-3-04.


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