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Heart-podded hoary cress
Photo Credit: Montana Statewide Noxious Weed Awareness and Education Program Archive, Montana State University, retrieved from (Image Number: 2154012), used under CC BY 3.0 US, modified from the original

Common Name: Heart-Podded Hoary Cress

Scientific Name: Lepidium draba

Habitat: Roadsides, farmland, disturbed areas

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.


Native to Europe and Asia, it is believed that hoary cress was introduced to North America by European settlers in the late 1800s as a contaminant in grass and alfalfa seed or ballast water of ships.

Legislated Because

Heart-podded hoary cress can invade open grasslands and form dense monocultures. It is also toxic to livestock.


Heart-podded hoary cress has 5-8 mm wide white flowers with four petals. Numerous flowers are borne at the ends of stems in flat-topped clusters.

Leaves are grey-green or blue-green in colour, elliptic or egg-shaped, and 3-10 cm long. The leaves usually clasp the stem and are covered with soft hairs. Some plants have short stalked leaves with no hairs. Most fruits are heart-shaped and flattened.

Stems are erect, hairy, and grow up to 65 cm tall.

Learn more about this species:

SeeFact Sheets - Alberta Invasive Species Council

For More Information

Weed Identification


In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311


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