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a genus of annual or perennial herbs of the family Cruciferae. The leaves are entire. The cauline leaves are sessile and amplexicaul; the radical ones are petioled. The white or pink flowers are gathered in a panicle. The fruit is an oblate silicle. There are 60 species, distributed mainly in the temperate belt of the northern hemisphere. The plants also occur in South America. The USSR has about 25 species, growing primarily in the Caucasus.
The pennycress (T. arvense) is a weed with winter and spring forms. A single plant yields about 10,000 seeds, whose oil (constituting as much as 30 percent of the mass of a seed) is suitable for industrial use. The grass and seeds contain the glycoside sinigrin (potassium myronate), which has a strong garlic-like odor. Cows fed grain mixed with Thlaspi seeds produce milk with a garlic taste. T. perfoliatum grows on rocky slopes, in the steppes, and amid crops in the European USSR, the Caucasus, and Middle Asia.