Lepidium campestre (L.) R. Br.

Field Cress, Field Pepperweed

Lepidium campestre plant

Family - Brassicaceae

Stems - To .75m tall, densely villous, multiple from base, branching above, erect to ascending, from taproot, herbaceous.

Leaves - Alternate. Cauline leaves clasping, entire, crenate or shallow dentate, lanceolate, dense on stem. Basal leaves petiolate, entire or with shallow lobes.

Inflorescence - Compact terminal racemes elongating in fruit to +25cm long(tall). Axis and pedicels villous. Pedicels to 8mm long in fruit, spreading.

Flowers - Petals 4, white, clawed, to 3mm long, 1.2mm broad, glabrous, spatulate. Stamens 6. Ovary compressed. Stigma capitate, yellowish. Style short, persistent in fruit.

Lepidium campestre flowersFlower close-up.

Fruits - Silicles 5-6mm long(high) when mature, ovate in outline, notched at apex, winged, glabrous, 1 seed per cell in fruit.

Lepidium campestre fruitsFruits.

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Disturbed sites, waste ground, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - Despite the fact that the flowers are very small, the plant itself actually quite showy. It is just one of the many introduced members of the Brassicaceae. The plant is common in the state but not quite as common as L. virginicum, which is everywhere.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 5-29-00.