HOARY CRESS

Lepidium draba

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]  

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZclustered
type
typeZumbel
stem
stem8round

3rd June 2010, Sandy Gap, Walney, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Spreads across disturbed land in huge swathes further than the camera can capture.


3rd June 2010, Sandy Gap, Walney, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The top of the infestation has a greeny-white foamy texture due to the sheer profusion of flowers.


3rd June 2010, Sandy Gap, Walney, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Has large toothed leaves scattered sparsely and singly on alternate sides of the stem. Some have a satin sheen.


22nd May 2015, south of Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


3rd June 2010, Sandy Gap, Walney, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Multiply branched near the top culminating in a profusion of white flowers with five anthers sticking proud. The glaucous slightly downy leaves (glossy when the down is lost on older leaves) clasp the stem with two auricles.


3rd June 2010, Sandy Gap, Walney, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Flowers white with four petals and five anthers. Un-opened buds are creamy green.


3rd June 2010, Sandy Gap, Walney, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Here the stems are slightly downy-hairy (hoary), although some specimens are hairless.


22nd May 2015, south of Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Each flowers is on one long thin green stalk, a dozen or more of which radiate out from a various points on a sturdier stalk) see above photo). The flowers form a roughly flat-topped group, of which there are many others.


22nd May 2015, south of Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Four pale-green sepals cup the developing fruit destined to contain the seeds with pale-green disced style atop. Four white filaments with pale yellow anthers are surrounded by 4 white propellor-like petals.


22nd May 2015, south of Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Birds eye view of above.


3rd June 2010, Sandy Gap, Walney, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves and stems hoary. Greyish green leaves, convex broad, lanceolate, many (but not all) with coarse irregular teeth. The auricle clasps the stem on either side.


4th July 2015, Leasowe Lighthouse, Moreton, Wirral. Photo: © RWD
Flowering heads multiply branched near the summit of the stalk.


4th July 2015, Leasowe Lighthouse, Moreton, Wirral. Photo: © RWD
A fruiting stalk.


4th July 2015, Leasowe Lighthouse, Moreton, Wirral. Photo: © RWD
are heart-shaped like those of Shepherd's Purse but are mounted the other way around: wide end on the stalk. They have the remains of the style sticking out at the apex.
The seed pods


22nd May 2015, south of Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Showing the hoariness of the leaves.


4th July 2015, Leasowe Lighthouse, Moreton, Wirral. Photo: © RWD
The obverse of the leaf is slightly grey to look at, but no hairs are visible with the naked eye, just tiny whitish pimples. Closer inspection reveals each pimple has an extremely short hair coming out, with just a few an order of magnitude longer at perhaps half a millimetre.


Not to be confused with : Hairy Bittercress [a plant of similar name, and in the same Cabbage Family]

Hoary Cress is a Pepperwort (Lepidium), on of a few that do not have the word 'Pepperwort' in their common name.

Two sub-species exist: Lepidium draba subsp. chalapense and Lepidium draba subsp. draba, both having the same common name as this, namely Hoary Cress. Subspecies chalapense is much less widespread; subspecies draba is mainly in southern England.

Some similarities to : Dittander, but that has leaves with fine teeth that are on short stalks and which do not clasp the stem.

This is an introduced species, which was introduced long ago. It occupies disturbed land and also grows along railways and roadsides.


  Lepidium draba  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Brassicaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cabbage family8Brassicaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Lepidium
Lepidium
(Pepperworts)

HOARY CRESS

Lepidium draba

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]  

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