Scientific NameLepidium campestre
Synonyms (former Scientific Names):
Plants germinate in the fall and bloom from May through September. Often found growing in high cut turf, the plants are an indicator of low fertility.
The gray-green, arrow shaped leaves are covered in short hairs, and have lobed, toothed, or entire margins. Rosette leaves and leaves on the lower stem have rounded margins that taper at the base. As the flowering stem appears, the rosette disappears and is replaced by leaves that clasp the stem. The leaves can grow up to 30 cm in length and 8 cm wide. The stems are slightly hairy and may grow up to 2 ft in height.
Being highly competitive, the plant will grow in dense colonies, choking out native vegetation.
Flower Seed Head
The white or greenish-white flowers occur in racemes that may grow up to 6 inches long. The 2mm long flowers occur in 4 to 8 mm long pedicels, and have 4 spoon-shaped petals. Each flower has 6 distinct stamens.
The egg-shaped fruit grow from 5 to 6 mm in length with wing-like structures at the apex. Typical of the mustard family, the fruit have a strong, peppery flavor. The oval, brown seeds can be 2 to 2.5 mm in length.
This plant prefers open fields, and waste areas, places that are infrequently mown, although it also thrives in turf.
upright and nonwoody
Thorns or Spines
Approximate Flower Diameter
Dominant Flower Color
shorter than leaf
Stem Cross Section
round or oval