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Camelina – oilseed crop. Sometimes it is considered as a minor early spring weed – Camelina sativa.

Camelina (Camelina sativa)
Camelina (Camelina sativa)
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©Robert Flogaus-Faust (CC BY 4.0)

Economic importance

Camelina seeds contain 40-46% drying oil. Camelina oil finds its main application in the paint and varnish and soap industries. For food purposes, it is used to a limited extent due to low taste. Only fresh oil is used for food, as it quickly goes rancid during storage.

Cake from the seeds of camelina serves as a concentrated feed. 100 kg of cake correspond to 115 feed units. However, it is fed to animals in small quantities, since in large quantities it is harmful due to the presence of glycosides.

In Russia and the countries of the former USSR, spring camelina is mainly cultivated.

Cake can be used as an organic fertilizer.


Cultivation areas and yield

In Russia, the main sown areas of spring camelina are concentrated in Western and Eastern Siberia, Bashkiria and the Volga region.

In 1986, the sown area was about 10 thousand hectares.

Winter camelina is cultivated in the Saratov region in limited areas.

The average yield is 1.0-1.2 t/ha.

Botanical description

Spring camelina (Camelina saliva Czantz.) is an annual herbaceous plant of the Cabbage family (Brassicaceae).

Rod root.

The stems are well developed, thin, branching.

Plant height 50-80 cm.

Leaves lanceolate, on short petioles, entire or slightly serrated, covered with stiff hairs.

Inflorescence – brush. Flowers pale yellow, small.

Self-pollinating in northern regions, cross-pollinating in southern regions.

The fruit is a pear-shaped pod, 6-9 mm long, cracks when ripe, 6-8 seeds.

Seeds 1.5-2 mm, oblong-oval, red-brown. Weight of 1000 seeds 1-1.5 g.

Winter camelina (C. silvestris Waller). It differs from spring camelina in woody, strongly branched stem, strong pubescence of leaves and stems. The fruits are slightly smaller – 5-7 mm.


Biological features

The spring forms of camelina are undemanding to growing conditions.

Seeds begin to germinate at a temperature of 1-2 °C. Seedlings are able to withstand frosts down to -12 °C.

It tolerates drought relatively easily.

Prefers sandy and slightly saline soils.

Long daylight plants.


The vegetation period of spring camelina is 66-90 days. With the advancement of its crops to the north, the duration of the growing season is reduced.

Crop rotation

The best predecessors of spring camelina are winter and tilled crops.

Fertilizer system

Spring camelina responds well to the application of mineral fertilizers.

Recommended fertilizer application rates are N30P45K30.

Tillage system

Camelina is demanding on careful pre-sowing tillage.


Sowing starts early.

The sowing method is the usual ordinary.

The seeding rate is 8-10 kg/ha.

Sowing depth 2-3 cm.

Crop care

Caring for camelina crops consists in harrowing after germination.


Seed harvesting begins in the phase of full ripeness, when the lower pods turn brown and the seeds harden.

Cleaning is carried out by converted combines.

Camelina seeds should be stored for storage with a moisture content of no more than 9%.


Crop production / P.P. Vavilov, V.V. Gritsenko, V.S. Kuznetsov and others; Ed. P.P. Vavilov. – 5th ed., revised. and additional – M.: Agropromizdat, 1986. – 512 p.: ill. – (Textbook and textbooks for higher educational institutions).

V.V. Kolomeichenko. Crop production / Textbook. — M.: Agrobusinesscenter, 2007. — 600 p. ISBN 978-5-902792-11-6.