Thlaspi caerulescens J. & C. Presl. (T. alpestre L.) has a restricted and disjunct distribution in Britain. Both on natural and mine sites it is confined to soils contaminated by lead and zinc. Morphological variation occurs both regionally and locally but there is no support from a taxometric cluster analysis for the taxonomic recognition of variants. In experiment the index of zinc tolerance of plants raised from seed was positively correlated with the concentration of zinc in the soils from which the seed parents originated. The distribution of T. caerulescens is discussed in relation to morphological and physiological variation between populations.