Plant Image
Flower heads

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Lepidium virginicum - Virginia pepperweed

Other Common Names: peppergrass
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Brassicaceae

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Patrick Alexander @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Patrick Alexander @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual or perennial
General Desc: A plant with smooth or hairy stems that can be annual, biennial, or perennial. Its most identifiable characteristic is its raceme.
Identification notes: Minute hairs; basal leaves withered at flowering; stem leaves tapering toward the stem; stamens 2; rounded, flattened fruits without hairs, widest at the middle, not veined, notched at their apex distinguish this from other Lepidium sp.
Height: Up to 2 feet


Habitat Description: Prefers dry, generally open, areas.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 6900 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White     Shape: Regular in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Nov
Description: Flowers are small, have 4 petals in clusters, and are borne either laterally or terminally on the stems.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Pinnatifid     Leaf Margin: Lobed     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The stem leaves are narrow and coarsely toothed while the basal leaves are pinnatifid with 1 large terminal lobe and several smaller lobes.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Dark brown   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Seed capsules are shallow, notched and have 2 valves with 1 seed in each.
Seed Notes: Seeds are egg shaped with 1 edge that is straight and the other slightly rounded.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
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