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Camelina (Camelina sativa L.)

Crop Impacts: Grain fields, flax and alfalfa crops

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About Camelina:

Camelina is an annual or winter weed that reproduces by its seeds. It is an emerging oilseed for sustainable biofuel but can also be considered a weed to others. This weed has a pretty high drought tolerance, except when it is in a sensitive growing stage, such as starting to flower. It is able to adapt to many weather conditions, including being capable to germinate in cool weather and seeds that, in the soil, are able to live through frost. Camelina is native to Eurpose and Asian but was introduced into North America from infested flax seeds in 1863. It can even be found as north as the Northwest Territories. There are many very popular names for the same or extremely similar plant. Camelina can be called Camelina Sarivia, Gold-of- pleasure, Camelina microxarpa, false flax and a few others.

Family: Brassicaceae ⁄Cruciferae – Mustard family

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Camelina Scouting and Prevention:

All variations and varieties of Camelina look quite similar to one another. In general Camelina has a taproot, with an erect stem that stands about 30 to 90 cm tall. There is a single stem with branches above, and becomes quite woody as it matures. It has rosette leaves that do not have any lobes and are completely withered by the time the weed flowers. The leaves that sit on the stems alternate to one another, and are typically lance-shaped. The leaves are about 2 to 8 cm long, and 2 to 10 mm wide, and could be smooth or with some hairs. The flowers that the Camelina produce has 4 spatulate petals, are greenish-yellow or pale yellow in colour, and are 4 to 5mm long. With the flowers sitting at the end of branches and stems, they will flower from late May until early autumn, but will drop seeds throughout the flowering process. The seed of a Camelina weed are a pale yellow-brown, quite small, rough and have a deep ridged surface.

Common locations

  • - Cold semi-arid climate
  • - Grain fields
  • - Flax fields
  • - Alfalfa fields
  • - Grain fields
  • - Pastures


Prevention ofCamelina is less expensive and less time-consuming than trying to control it. Make sure when you are seeding a new area you are doing so with certified weed-free seeds. If there is an infested area on your property, be sure to drive around, instead of through it. Finally, make sure to give all equipment that has been in infested fields a good clean, to make sure no seeds are transferred.

Camelina Control:

It is recommended to use a combination of both chemical and cultural control methods for taking control of Camelina in your crop fields. Due to its very difficult nature to control, this combined process should be used to manage weed population, and maximize your crop yield.

Cultural Control

One of the best ways to make sure that Camelina is not spread, is to reduce your harvest losses. A few ways this can be done is by sealing any leaks, and making sure your combines are set a proper height. Early and increased seeding rates and use of competitive cultivation techniques work adequately to reduce the percentage of infestation.

Chemical Control

Trying to control older and larger plants is much more difficult and time consuming, therefore timely application is critical. Herbicides will be ineffective if applied when the plant is under stress. The herbicides will have more effect right before or right after rain due to the fact that the roots of the plants are taking in water at the time, which in turn means they will be taking in the herbicide as well. For a herbicide control group 4 herbicides 2-mthyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid or in other words MCPA and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid also known as 2,4-D are registered herbicides for the control of Camelina weeds.

Latin / Alternative Camelina names:

  • - Camelina sativa L. Crantz
  • - Falseflax
  • - Linseed dodder
  • - Gold-of-pleasure
  • - Wild flax
  • - Small seed false flax

Additional Camelina Resources">">