Nearly all seed plants rely on stored seed reserves before photosynthesis can commence. Natural selection for seed oil traits must have occurred over 319 million years of evolution since the first seed plant ancestor. Accounting for the biogeographic distribution of seed oil traits is fundamental to understanding the mechanisms of adaptive evolution in seed plants. However, the evolution of seed oils is poorly understood. We provide evidence of the adaptive nature of seed oil traits at the intraspecific and interspecific levels in Brassicaceae-an oilseed-rich and economically important plant family.