T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Lepidium virginicum (Peppergrass)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Lepidium
Species: L. virginicum
Binomial name: Lepidium virginicum
Common name: Peppergrass.

Lepidium virginicum is a 10-50cc tall annual or biennial plant in the Brassicaceae or mustard family. It is native to much of North America, including most of the United States and Mexico and southern regions of Canada, as well as most of Central America. It is an introduced species to New Zealand and can be found on waste land, roadsides and railway lines in parts of the North Island. It prefers sunny locales with dry soil.
Lepidium virginicum’s racemes are at first small white flowers and later greenish fruits. Mature leaves are irregularly lobed, smooth and tapering to the petiole, and hairless. Note that all parts of the plant have a peppery taste.