Perennial pepperweed

Lepidium latifolium

Perennial pepperweed is a member of the mustard family, Brassicaceae.  Stems range from 2 feet to over 4 feet tall. Mature plants have numerous erect, semi-woody stems that originate from large, interconnected roots. Roots are long, minimally branched, and enlarged at the soil surface forming a semi-woody crown. The foliage is smooth and green to gray-green in color. Rosette leaves are ovate to oblong with smooth to slightly toothed margins on long stalks. Rosette leaves are about 4 to 11 inches long and 1 to 3 inches wide. Stem leaves attach directly to the base of the plant, are shaped like a lance with smooth to toothed margins, and become smaller toward the top of the stem. Small, white flowers form dense clusters arranged in panicles at the tip of each stem. Perennial pepperweed is often confused with hoary cress (Cardaria draba), also called whitetop. However, unlike the taller perennial pepperweed, hoary cress stems are less than 3 ft tall and have leaves that clasp the stem and lack an obvious stalk.

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