Photo Credit: John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Retrieved from Bugwood.org (Image Number: 5391987), used under CC BY-NC 3.0 US, modified from the original
Common Name: Lens-Podded Hoary Cress
Scientific Name: Lepidium chalepense
Habitat: Roadsides, farmland, grassland, grassland dry, grassland wet, disturbed areas
Provincial Designation: Noxious
Lens-podded hoary cress is native to Europe and Asia and was introduced to North America together with the very similar globe-podded hoary cress in the early 1900s. It was likely introduced as a contaminant of alfalfa seed or horse feed.
Lens-podded hoary cress can be an aggressive invader that can form dense monocultures in open grasslands and riparian areas. It also serves as a host for insect pests that feed on crops.
The flowers are white, 6-10 mm wide, and have four petals. Numerous flowers are borne at the end of the stem in flat topped clusters.
Leaves are grey-green or blue-green in colour, oblong or lance shaped, and 4-10 cm long. The leaves of most plants are covered with soft hairs and clasp the stem. Some plants have short stalked leaves with no hairs.
The fruits of this hoary cress are spherical in shape and have no hairs. Stems are erect, are sometimes hairy, and can grow up to 65 cm tall.