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

Lepidium heterophyllum Benth.
Smith's pepper-grass (purpleanther field pepperweed)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Rosemary Taylor  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #40644)

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Distribution of Lepidium heterophyllum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a taproot; stems several, usually ascending, 15-45 cm tall, simple or branched above, stiff-hairy with spreading hairs.
Basal leaves oblanceolate to elliptic, stalked, entire to sparsely toothed; stem leaves oblong to narrowly triangular egg-shaped, toothed with narrow teeth, unstalked, clasping, glabrous to hairy.
Inflorescence of spreading stalks, 3-6 mm long, densely stiff-hairy, slightly flattened; petals white, 2.5-3 mm long, spoon-shaped, claws narrow; sepals about 2 mm long; anthers violet.
Silicles, strongly spreading, oblong, 4-7 mm long, 3-6 mm wide, glabrous or with a few hairs, winged for about 1/3 length, usually with a notch at the tip; segments with few or no vesicles; beaks about 1 mm long, mostly exserted from the shallowly notched tip.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry fields, roadsides and waste places in the lowland zone; infrequent in SW BC, known from S Vancouver Island and the Vancouver area; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lepidium smithii Hook.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References