Heart-podded Hoary Cress (Lepidium draba)

 
 
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Description
A deep rooted, rhizomatous, long lived perennial growing up to 0.6 tall with numerous erect stems. Leaves are entire to shallowly lobed, and the upper leaves are clasping the stem. If there are hairs on the leaves, they are simple, not branched. Inflorescence is terminal and flat topped. Four petal flowers are white, with 6 anthers, four of them longer and two noticeably shorter. Fruit will be heart shaped. Fruit usually doesn't pop open to let the seeds out. Two chambers per fruit, and each fruit chamber has 1 or 2 seeds. Each stem can produce 850 fruits. The seed pod is tipped with a “beak” which is rare for the mustard family.

Key Identifiers
  • White flat topped clusters of flowers
  • Upper alternate leaves clasping stem
  • Fruit, heart shaped
Location in Canada
Found in southern Canadian provinces west of and including Ontario.

Resources
Similar species
Lepidium spp - L. chalepensis, L. draba, and L. appelianum, can be distinguishable if they are mature and well developed. The silicles of the three species, are quite distinct.
Round and flat pod, Lens-podded Hoary Cress L. chalepensis.
Heart shape pod, Heart-podded Hoary Cress L. draba.
Round and inflated pod, Globe-podded Hoary cress L. appelianum.

Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org

Julia Scher, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

Julia Scher, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
 
 
 
 

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Nicole Kimmel.
This document is maintained by Shelley Barkley.
This information published to the web on March 23, 2012.
Last Reviewed/Revised on March 11, 2014.