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a genus of annual herbaceous plants of the family Cruciferae. There are ten species, distributed in Europe and Asia. Eight species are found in the USSR. C. sativa and C. silvestris are under cultivation. The root is shaftlike, and the stem is thin and ramose and reaches a height of 100 cm. The small, lanceolate leaves are sessile or on short petioles; they are entire or dentate. The radical leaves of C. silvestris form a rosette. Camelina is hairless or downy; a heavy pubescence characterizes C. silvestris. The inflorescence is a raceme of small, pale yellow flowers. The fruit is a pod measuring 5–10 mm long. The seeds are red-brown and become slimy when immersed in water; 1,000 seeds weigh 0.6–2 g.
The plant does not demand much warmth or moisture. The seeds contain a fatty oil (35–47 percent), which is used for industrial purposes and, less frequently, as food. Camelina is grown on small areas in the USSR and France; it was first cultivated in these regions in the late 19th century. The yield is 10–12 quintals per hectare. The best varieties in the USSR are Voronezh 349, Omsk Local, Kirghiz 1, and Trans-Volga. The first three are varieties of C. sativa, and the last is a variety of C. silvestris.
REFERENCESVoskresenskaia, G. S. Ryzhik. Moscow, 1952.
Minkevich, A. I., and V. E. Borkovskii. Maslichnye kul’tury. 3rd ed. Moscow, 1955.