Camelina, also known as false flax or gold-of-pleasure, is an oilseed belonging to the Brassicaceae (mustard) family. It is native to Europe and naturalized in North America where it grows well under a wide range of climatic and soil conditions. The crop originated on the steppes of southeastern Europe and in southwestern Asia. This is an area characterized by a climate very similar to the Canadian Prairies with short, hot, summers, long cold winters and relatively low average yearly precipitation. This makes Camelina a natural fit for the Prairies.
Camelina is a short-season crop: time from seeding to maturity is only 85 to 100 days. Camelina possesses very good frost tolerance in the seedling stage and the full-grown plants exhibit good drought tolerance. This makes it an attractive oilseed crop alternative for Saskatchewan, particularly in the lighter soils of the southwest. Resistance to flea beetles and black leg disease, as well as good shatter resistance, add to the agronomic benefits of this crop. Lower input costs make for competitive returns at low risk.