Lepidium virginicum

Lepidium virginicum L.

Common Names: Wild Pepper Grass

Family: Brassicaceae

Habit: Lepidium virginicum grows as an annual or perennial herb to 40 cm in height when in flower/fruit.  The leaves are in a basal rosette to 12 centimeters in length and 3 centimeters wide. Leaves along stem much shorter than the basal rosette leaves and becoming linear and entire. Basal rosette leaves are pinnatifid, oblong to lanceolate with a toothed margin and an acute leaf apex.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are in terminal and axillary racemes up to 30 centimeters in length.  The calyx has 4 unfused, green with white margins sepals.  The corolla has 4 unfused, white petals. There are 2 stamens (sometimes 4 or 6).  The superior ovary with 2 locules separated by a narrow replum.  The fruit is a flat, oval, 2 seeded silicle.

Habitat: Lepidium virginicum grows in Human Altered environments (fields, yards, disturbed areas).

Distribution: Lepidium virginicum occurs throughout the Lucayan Archipelago and the western hemisphere.  It is naturalized in Europe.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic Usage: Lepidium virginicum has been used medicinally for gastrointestinal issues and the fruits and leaves are edible.