Field Pennycress, Frenchweed, fanweed, pennycress, stinkweed, bastard cress, Mithridate mustard, wild garlic
Description: winter or summer annual
Place of origin: Eurasia
Urban habitat: waste areas, cultivated landscapes; thrives in a variety of soil types in full sun.
Ecological function: disturbance-adapted colonizer; food for wildlife.
History: Thlaspi arvense is present around the world on every continent except Antarctica and is considered a noxious weed in many US states. Its leaves, seeds, and oil are edible. When cooked and used as an herb, its young leaves are said to taste like mustard and are very rich in protein. The plant has been used medicinally by many of the cultures where the plant is found, including for treatment of eye ailments, fevers, sore throats, appendicitis, post partum pain, endometriosis. The plant is said to have a broad antibacterial potency. The plant is also reported to be a good source of biomass energy.