Ontario Weeds: Small-seeded falseflax
Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds,
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Name: Small-seeded false flax, Camelina
microcarpa Andrz. ex DC.,
Other Names: caméline à petits fruits, caméline à petits graines
Family: Mustard Family (Cruciferae)
General Description: Annual or winter annual, reproducing only by seed.
Small-seeded falseflax. A. Base of annual plant. B. Flowering and fruiting stem.
Leaves: Young winter annual plants forming a rosette of leaves in the fall but annual plants do not; stem leaves alternate (1 per node), the lower ones narrowly oval, stalkless, broadest near the middle, 2-10cm (1-4in.) long, somewhat clasping; middle and upper leaves stalkless, widest near the base, tapering towards the slender tip and clasping the stem with 2 basal lobes; leaves and lower portion of stems rough-hairy with star-shaped hairs.
Flowers & Fruit: Flowers resembling Wild mustard but smaller and pale yellow, in rounded clusters at ends of stems and branches; seedpods shaped like a slightly flattened teardrop, 4-6mm (1/6-¼in.) long, tipped with a slender beak or style 1-2mm (1/25-1/12in.) and on slender stalks which spread 6-25mm (¼-1in.) from the stem; septum (membranous partition) as wide as the greatest width of the pod and often remaining on the stalk when the sides of the pod drop off; seeds 0.8-1.2mm (1/30-1/20in.) long, reddish-brown to dark reddish-brown. Flowers from late May until early autumn, frequently dropping seed while still flowering.
Habitat: Small-seeded false flax occurs throughout Ontario but is more common in the southern part of the province, infesting grainfields, seeded pastures, abandoned fields, waste places and roadsides.
Similar Species: Two other kinds of false flax may be found in Ontario in similar situations but are not as common as Small-seeded false flax. Both resemble it in general appearance an habit of growth, the main distinguishing features being in the seedpods and seeds. Large-seeded false flax, Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz, (caméline faux lin, caméline, caméline cultivée), has oblong seeds about 2mm (1/12in.) long in teardrop-shaped seedpods usually 6mm (¼in.) or longer, and its stems are not as hairy. Flat-seeded false flax, Camelina parodii Ibarra and La Porte, (caméline à graines plates, caméline dentée, Camelina dentata Pers.), has large, flat seeds which are round in outline and about 2.5mm (1/10in.) in diameter in pods that tend to be flat across the top rather than rounded.
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