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Broad-leaved pepper-grass
Photo credit: Leslie Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Retrieved from Bugwood.org (Image Number: 5480237), used under CC BY 3.0 US, modified from the original

Common Name: Broad-Leaved Pepper-Grass

Scientific Name: Lepidium latifolium

Habitat: grassland, grassland wet, grassland dry, saline open areas, disturbed areas, farmland, roadsides

Provincial Designation: Noxious

Noxious weeds are plant species that are designated as "noxious weeds" in the Alberta weed regulation. Noxious weeds must be controlled, meaning their growth or spread needs to be prevented.

Origin

Native to Europe and West Asia, broad-leaved pepper-grass was introduced to North America as a contaminant in crop seed. In California, it was also grown as an ornamental plant.

Legislated Because

Broad-leaved pepper-grass is a highly invasive species that displaces native vegetation. It grows mainly in moist to wet habitats including river and lake edges, wetlands, marshes and floodplains. It can reach fields through irrigation ditches.

Description

This weed has tiny 3-8 mm wide, white flowers with four petals. The flowers grow in dense clusters at the tips of branches.

The leaves are green with a leathery surface and a prominent whitish midvein. Leaves are lance-shaped, elliptic or egg-shaped and have smooth or serrated edges. Rosette leaves at the bottom of the plant are larger than stem leaves and often have stalks. 

Each plant has multiple smooth stems that grow up to 120 cm tall.

Goats can eat and control this weed.

Can Be Confused With

Hoary Cresses - other Lepidium species  - but Broad-Leaved is taller and distinct stalks to the leaves.

Common Baby's Breath - Gypsophila paniculata - but Broad-Leaved flowers a little larger, less ‘powdery’

Learn more about this species:

See Fact Sheets - Alberta Invasive Species Council

For More Information

Weed Management

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email invasiveweeds@edmonton.ca

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