As a summer or winter annual plant, camelina grows to heights of 30–120 cm (12–47 in), with branching stems which become woody at maturity. The leaves are alternative on the stem, lanceolate with a length from 2–8 cm (0.79–3.15 in) and a width of 2–10 mm (0.079–0.394 in). Leaves and stems may be partially hairy. Its abundant, four-petaled flowers are pale yellow in colour.
Seeds, which mature in seed pods, have a characteristic orange colour and a length of 2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in). The 1,000-seed weight ranges from 0.8–2.0 g (0.028–0.071 oz).