Document Type


Publication Date



cameline, production, uses, adaptation

Extension Number

ExEx 8167


Plant Science


Hisotry and Description Camelina [Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz] is an oilseed plant currently being researched as a potential new crop for South Dakota. It is a member of the Brassicaceae (or mustard) family, which includes mustard, canola, rapeseed, Crambe, broccoli, and several other vegetable crops. Cam¬elina is commonly known as gold-of-pleasure or false flax. It originated in Northern Europe and Central Asia, where it has been grown for at least 3,000 years. It was grown as an agricultural crop in Europe and the Soviet Union through World War II. European production dwindled after the 1950s, as rapeseed/canola production increased. Camelina has been grown on a commercial basis in Montana for the last several years. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service office in Helena, Mont., 22,500 acres of camelina were planted in 2007 and 12,200 acres in 2008. Camelina is a cool-season crop. Seeds are very small (less than 1/16 inch), oblong, with a ridged surface. They germinate at low temperature (34-36°F), and young plants are very frost resistant. Young plants form a rosette of foli¬age close to the ground, and then stems elongate (bolt) and become heavily branched before flowering. Small pale-yellow flowers bloom in clusters at the top of the branches. Plants are 2–3-feet tall at maturity. Seedpods are pear shaped and contain 8–10 seeds. Camelina is more resistant to seed shatter than canola.