Pictures of perennial pepperweed Photo courtesy of: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/lepilati.html
Common names: broad-leaved peppergrass, tall whitetop, Virginia pepperweed, perennial pepperweed, broad-leaf peppergrass
Seeds: Each plant produces a small waxy fruit that does not open but falls regularly during the winter season. Each one of these little fruit bares 2 little seeds that are released when the fruit drops down from the plant. The seeds that are dropped are round, flattened and slightly hairy. They measure 1/16 of an inch in length and are reddish brown colored. Perennial pepperweed can produce up too 6 billion seeds per acre. (1,2,5)
Leaves/Stems: The waxy leaves are bright green to a gray waxy color. The leaves on top may have smooth or toothed margins. Stem leaves are larger and are stalked where upper leaves toward the top of the plant are shorter with shorter stalks. The larger leaves can grow off the stem to up to 12 inches long. All of the leaves have a noticeable white vein running through them. (1,2,3,4,5)
Roots: The long extensive root system sends many shoots up in late winter or autumn and makes a large patch or infestation of the plant. The roots do not hold soil together very well so they are known to be a problem by increasing erosion on river banks, streams, and ditch banks. (1,5)
Flowers: Flowers in big dense
clusters sitting on the very top of the weed. Every flower has
4 petals. The seeds are often held on the plant and
dropped during the winter. (1,5)
Environments Favorable to Infestation: It is known
to be a problem on the roadsides, rangeland, field crops,
mountain tops. (1,4,5)
Chemical Control: Glyphosate + 2,4-D was found
100% effective when applied to pepperweed periodically over 3
(2,4) Please consult your County Weed Supervisor or Extension
Agent. Read the label on all herbicides before use.
1. Lisa Lantz and Bridget Simon, Perennial Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium), (online), available, http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_info/pepperweed.html.
3. Government of British Columbia, Field Guide to Noxious and Other Selected Weeds of British Columbia, (online) available, http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/weedguid/pepperweed.htm.
4. Fred Bentler, Perennial Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium), (online), available, http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/lands/weeds/peppweed.htm.5. Yolo County Resource Conservation District, Perennial Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium), (online), avaliable, http://www.yolorcd.org/weeds/pepperweed.shtml.
By: Toby Marx and Jim Thorne 4/20/04. - Updated by Lizzie and Markie 3/09.