Weed Warrior: Keep your eyes out for Field Pennycress

Field Pennycress, aka Stinkweed, is a controversial plant that came to North America from Eurasia in the 1700s, as a strong flavoured pot herb and has spread across the continent since.

Its notched, flat, circular, seed pods were the size and shape of a silver English penny (the size of our dime or nickel) in previous centuries, hence the name.

The young tender shoots of Pennycress are still eaten in Europe, often with enough sauce to mask the bitter garlicky bite.

Field Pennycress oils will taint the milk of dairy cows that graze on this plant; and, its oily stems and seeds can cause serious internal damage to cows, horses and pigs that eat too much Pennycress growing in pastures, or included in feed hay.

Apparently, boiling water can prevent the plant’s enzymes from producing toxic chemicals from Pennycress oil, making it safer as an animal fodder and as a food additive for humans. I don’t know about you, but this nature-boy isn’t keen on menu items that need strong-flavoured salad dressings to mask their pungent taste.

However, since Field Pennycress produces twice as much oil as soybeans, Biodiesel Companies are interested, so some American corn and soybean farmers plant Field Pennycress as a supplemental crop.

Each plant can produce 20,000 seeds that can live for decades in the soil before germinating.

If you are going to grow a plant, like Field Pennycress, that other people consider to be an invasive weed, be a good citizen and control it, so your garden herb does not spread to neighbouring properties.

This slender tap rooted plant can be pulled from loose soil, or controlled with a “little dab” of herbicide, after cutting and garbage bagging most of the Pennycress leaves and stems. Remember to wear protective latex or vinyl gloves when touching weeds.

Weed Warrior Frank

Just Posted

Skier triggers avalanche outside boundaries near Kimberley Alpine Resort

The skier was not injured and Kimberley Search and Rescue responded.

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

City readying for spring melt and potential flooding

Spring has sprung. With the warmer weather on the way, the city… Continue reading

Paul Blais provides daily, free breakfast to Cranbrook’s homeless

After winding up on the streets in 2018, Blais wanted to do everything he could to help others

Police investigating hydro meter theft

RCMP warn about the dangers of severe electrical shock, starting a fire

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

The Kootenay Ice, the Clock, and Time’s Arrow

It was the dying seconds in the last — the very, very… Continue reading

What’s on at the Cranbrook Public Library

Mike Selby Rick James (not the singer) tells the little known story… Continue reading

Letters to the Editor

Respect and Best Wishes Hats off to the fans of the Kootenay… Continue reading

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read