SWINE-CRESS

Lepidium coronopus

(Formerly: Coronopus squamatus)
Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZarchaeophyte
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZclustered
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

9th July 2014, near Whitchurch, Hampshire. Photo: © Simon Melville
A basal rosette of Swine Cress in flower. The pinnate leaves are of variable size. A well-branched glabrous annual plant.


9th July 2014, near Whitchurch, Hampshire. Photo: © Simon Melville
The flowers, although a small 2 to 3mm across, are much larger than the tiny flowers on Lesser Swine-Cress. Leaflets of the leaves are variable in shape, some simple , others with one short lobe, yet others with wide leaves which are 'toe-lobed' (bottom of photo).


9th July 2014, near Whitchurch, Hampshire. Photo: © Simon Melville
The fruit is, at 2 to 3.5mm, larger than the flowers and deeply gnarled on the surface where the valves are. They are flattened and broader than they are long and roughly kidney-shaped on short stalks (and nothing like the twinned-balls shape of the fruits on Lesser Swine-Cress). Some stems are very sturdy, whilst others one-third as thick.


11th Aug 2018, Maghull, Sefton, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Another basal rosette. It likes to grow on waste ground, paths and other well-trodden places; here on bare earth.


11th Aug 2018, Maghull, Sefton, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The leaf stalks are flattened and in the same plane as the leaflets.


11th Aug 2018, Maghull, Sefton, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Some wide leaf-stalks, some others not as wide. Leaflet shape varies; some have a few short lobes. A group of as yet un-opened flower buds (just left of dead centre).


11th Aug 2018, Maghull, Sefton, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The leaves end in a point. More un-opened flower buds.


11th Aug 2018, Maghull, Sefton, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
More un-opened flower buds


9th April 2007, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
Some opened flowers huddle up to yet unopened ones. They occur at the base of of the pinnate leaves.


9th April 2007, unknown place. Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
Flowers with four white petals, 6 flat, table-tennis-bat shaped fertile anthers which are cream coloured in the centre with a reddish-brown rim. In the centre a green gourd-shaped ovary (which turns reddish-brown when ripe) with a white discoidal stigma. The petals are between 1 and 2mm long and are longer than the sepals cupping the flower beneath. The flower stalk is shorter than the fruit.


Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

No relation to : Buck's-horn Plantain (Plantago coronopus) nor with Buttonweed (Cotula coronopifolia) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families].

Related to Lesser Swine-Cress (Lepidium didymum) which is much more diddy.

Grows on waste ground, paths, gateways, pastures, and other well-trodden places including on bare earth. It is an archaeophyte commonly occurring on lowland England, but also scattered elsewhere in the British Isles.


  Lepidium coronopus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Brassicaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cabbage family8Brassicaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Lepidium
Lepidium
(Pepperworts)

SWINE-CRESS

Lepidium coronopus

(Formerly: Coronopus squamatus)
Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]