E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lepidium densiflorum Schrad.
prairie pepper-grass (common pepperweed)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Eileen Brown  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25164)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Lepidium densiflorum
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems usually single, erect, 10-50 cm tall, branched above, short-hairy.
Basal leaves soon deciduous; stem leaves 3-10 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, entire to saw-toothed or pinnately cut with toothed segments, reduced upwards, entire to lobed, not clasping, lower sometimes shallowly pinnately-cut, upper unstalked.
Inflorescence ofnumerous, elongate racemes; flower stalks slightly ascending, 2-4 mm long, slightly flattened on lower surfaces, usually hairy on upper surfaces; petals lacking, rarely vestigial, white, to 1 mm; sepals about 1 mm long.
Silicles, round to short egg-shaped, 3-3.5 by 2.5-3 mm long, tips slightly winged, abruptly curved into obtuse tee at the tips, shallowly slightly notched, glabrous to short-hairy; beaks lacking.
Four, sometimes difficult to distinguish, varieties occur in BC.

1. Silicles averaging 2.5 mm long, glabrous; flower stalks slightly flattened................. var. densiflorum

1. Silicles averaging 3 mm long, glabrous or short-hairy; flower stalks conspicuously flattened.

2. Silicles glabrous................ var. macrocarpum Mulligan2. Silicles short-hairy.

3. Silicles short-hairy on both surfaces..................... var. pubicarpum (A. Nelson) Thell.

3. Silicles short-hairy only on the margins.................... var. elongatum (Rydb.) Thell.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry disturbed areas and waste places in the steppe and montane zones; var. densiflorum - frequent throughout BC, var. elongatum - frequent in S and NW BC, var. macrocarpum - frequent in S and E BC, and var. pubicarpum - rare in SC BC; var. densiflorum - native from SE BC to MB, introduced elsewhere, var. elongatum - ranges N to YT and NT, var. macrocarpum - ranges E to SK, and var. pubicarpum - ranges S to VT and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lepidium densiflorum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 335 827 1530
Slope Gradient (%) 0 17 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 202 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(31), ICH(2), IDF(77), MS(1), PP(24)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References