Thlaspi arvense, known by the common name field pennycress, is a foetid Eurasian plant having round flat pods; naturalized throughout North America. It is also related to the Lepidium genus in the cabbage family.
The field pennycress has a bitter taste; it is usually parboiled to remove the bitter taste. This is mostly used in salads, sometimes in sandwich spreads. It is said to have a distinctive flavour.
Pennycress is being developed as an oilseed crop for production of renewable fuels. The species can be planted in the fall, will germinate and form a vegetative mass which can overwinter. In the spring, the oil-rich seed can be harvested and used as a biodiesel feedstock.
Pennycress is related to the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. Researchers have begun studying the genetics of pennycress in order to improve its potential use as a biofuel crop. For example, the transcriptome of pennycress has been sequenced.