Field Penny-cress

Field Penny-cress
Field Pennycress. Thlaspi arvense.
Brassicaceae, the mustard family.

Plant: Erect, often branching plant to 30" high with an unpleasant smell, stems topped by rounded clusters of small, white flowers that develop into flat, notched seeds. Annual.
Flowers: White, small, 1/8", with four petals and four sepals, in a rounded cluster (raceme) atop an elongating fruiting stem. The flowers do not open widely.
Leaves: Alternate, ovate to oblong, 1"-2", more or less toothed, sessile, with a lobed base that clasps the stem, and generally smooth.
Fruit: A deeply notched, almost round, winged capsule about 1/2" long.
Blooming: April-August
Habitat: Fields, waste areas, disturbed ground.

Comments: Naturalized from Europe, this mustard family member is sometimes a troublesome weed in grain fields. The plant has a markedly unpleasant odor that provides another common name: stinkweed. It is supposedly edible, boiled in one or more changes of water to remove the bitter taste (and presumably the odor).

Where to find it: I have found it growing on fresh mounds of earth adjacent to the Islamic center (2009), and on the pond shore near the lodge.