Scientific Name: Lepidium campestre

Common Name: field pepperweed

Synonyms: Neolepia campestris, Thlaspi campestre

Habit: 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.

Leaves: 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.

Identifying Characteristics: 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.

Seed Fruit: 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.

Where Found: This plant prefers open fields, and waste areas, places that are infrequently mown, although it also thrives in turf.

  • Life cycle: winter annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Brassicaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: lance; spatulate

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire; serrated

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: white

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower symmetry: not symmetrical

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf