Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Lepidium Sp. - Peppergrass

Family: Brassicaceae - Mustard [E-flora]

"Habit: Annual to perennial herb (shrub); hairs 0 or simple. Leaf: basal rosetted or not, petioled, entire, dentate, to 1--3-pinnately lobed; cauline short-petioled to sessile, base occasionally lobed to clasping. Inflorescence: elongated or congested. Flower: sepals erect or spreading, oblong to ovate, base not sac-like; petals linear to obovate, white or yellow (pink or purple), occasionally reduced or 0; stamens 2, 4, or 6. Fruit: silicle, generally dehiscent, oblong to ovate, obcordate, or round (spectacle-shaped), flat perpendicular to septum (inflated), unsegmented. Seed: 2(4), gelatinous when wet; wing narrow or 0.
Species In Genus: 220 species: all continents except Antarctica. Etymology: (Greek: little scale, from fruit)" [Jepson]

Local Species (Recently classified into Lepidium)

  1. Cardaria draba - heart-podded hoary-cress [E-flora]
  2. Coronopus didymus - lesser swine-cress [E-flora]

Local Species

  1. Lepidium campestre - field pepper-grass [E-flora]
  2. Lepidium densiflorum - prairie pepper-grass [E-flora]
  3. Lepidium heterophyllum - Smith's pepper-grass [E-flora]
  4. Lepidium latifolium - broad-leaved pepper-grass [E-flora]
  5. Lepidium ramosissimum - branched pepper-grass [E-flora]
  6. Lepidium ruderale - roadside pepperweed [E-flora]
  7. Lepidium sativum - garden cress [E-flora]
  8. Lepidium virginicum - tall pepper-grass [E-flora]

Cardaria draba - Heart-podded Hoary-cress

"Cardaria draba is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil." [PFAF]

"General Perennial herb from a large, white rhizome; stems stout, somewhat white-hairy, 10-50 cm tall, branched above." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Leaves Basal leaves simple, toothed to entire, widely oblanceolate to egg-shaped, short-hairy, short- stalked; stem leaves similar, unstalked, clasping." [IFBC-E-flora]


Two subspecies occur in BC:

"Habitat / Range Dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent in S BC (ssp. draba) or rare in SC BC (ssp. chalapensis); introduced from Eurasia." [IFBC-E-flora]

Food (vegetable); Poison (mammals); Weed [Wiersema WEP]


Food Usage

Other Use

Medicinal Use


Sulforafan From Cardaria draba L. - Anticarcinogenic [Arora MPB]

"Considering both ALA percentage and seed oil content in species shown in Table 8.2, it is clear that some of them could contribute effectively to fulfill the daily needs of n-3 FAs; that is, the recommended daily intake of ~2 g ALA per day (European Food Safety Authority 2009) could be achieved by ingesting ~60 g of Cardaria draba seeds or ~200 g of Urtica dioica seeds, both amounts being reasonably affordable to consume in a regular diet in Western countries." [????]


Contains Erysoline [EncyTCMV.2] and 4-Methylsulfinyl butyl isothiocyanate [EncyTCMV.3]

"many Cruciferae species, such as ..., Cardaria draba (L.) Desv. ...stand out for their high vitamin C levels (50–150 mg/100 g average content)" [Tardio MWEP]

"Considering both ALA percentage and seed oil content in species... it is clear that some of them could contribute effectively to fulfill the daily needs of n-3 FAs; that is, the recommended daily intake of ~ 2 g ALA per day (European Food Safety Authority 2009) could be achieved by ingesting ~ 60 g of Cardaria draba seeds" [Tardio MWEP]

Vitamin E [1, 2]
Carotene [1, 2]
Oil, % on dry wt: 14.6–16.0 [3, 4]
Saponification value, mg KOH: 177.26 [5] [LLCEOPS]
Fat, 7% [Tardio MWEP]

"Succeeds in a sunny position in most soils." [PFAF]

Aphid Host Plant

"L. draba (= Cardaria draba) Aphis craccivora, fabae, frangulae, nasturtii; Aulacorthum solani; Brevicoryne brassicae; Dysaphis vandenboschi; Lipaphis erysimi, lepidii ssp. lepidiicardariae; Macrosiphum euphorbiae; Myzus certus, persicae" [Blackman AWHPS]


"Mojab and Mahmoodi (2008) carried out a growth chamber study to evaluate the allelopathic effects of 25, 50, 75, and 100 % of shoot and root water extract of hoary cress (Cardaria draba) on seed germination and seedling characteristic of sorghum (S. bicolor)." [Cheema Alleleopathy]

"Seed - sow in situ in spring. There is very little need to encourage this plant, it is a rapidly spreading weed in Britain. Division in spring." [PFAF]



Coronopus didymus - lesser swine-cress

"Coronopus didymus is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in). It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil." [PFAF]

"Habitat / Range Mesic fields and waste places in the lowland zone; infrequent in SW BC, known only from SE Vancouver Island and Vancouver; introduced from S America." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]

Edible Uses


Mass of 1,000, g: 0.03
Oil, % on dry wt: 41" [LLCEOPS]

Cultivation & Propagation

"Emergence of other annual summer or winter species, such as ... Coronopus didymus (L.) Sm.,... and Sonchus oleraceus L., was almost completely suppressed by soil solarization in other field and greenhouse trials (Elmore,1993; Moya and Furukawa 2000; Patricio et al. 2006; Candido et al. 2008)." [Lichtfouse SAR 3]


Sunflower extract vs. Coronopus didymus - One application, pre-emergence = "Reduction in total weed density (25.26 %) and DW (14.60 %)" and 12.38% increase in wheat crop yield. Most effective was two applications, pre-emergence and 25 days after sowing. This resulted in "Reduction in total weed density (17.19 %) and DW (35.92 %)" and a 17.38% wheat yield increase. Also notable was a similar, second application, at 35 days after sowing. This resulting in "Reduction in total weed density (7.5 %) and DW (34.72 %)" and 15.71% wheat yield increase. [Cheema Alleleopathy]

"Sorghum bicolor + Helianthus annuus + Brassica campestris + Oryza sativa" applied to a Brassica napus crop vs. Coronopus didymus as "water extracts at 15 L ha-1 tank mixed" to reduce density and growth of the weed. [Cheema Alleleopathy]


"Recently, Iqbal and Javaid (2012) reported that methanolic extracts of different parts of a Brassicaceous weed Coronopus didymus were highly effective for the management of [Sclerotium rolfsii], the cause of southern bight disease of bell pepper. Aqueous extracts of C. didymus were also very effective in controlling F. oxysporum f. sp. gladioli, the causal agent of corm rot disease of gladiolus (Riaz et al. 2010a)." "Methanolic leaf extract (5 mg mL-1)" "Reduced fungal growth by 67 %" "Riaz et al. (2010b) reported that incorporation of C. didymus aerial parts at 2–6 % in the soil can reduce incidence of corm rot disease of gladiolus (Gladiolus grandiflorus sect. Blandus cv. Aarti) caused by F. oxysporum f.sp. gladioli (Massey) Snyd. & Hans. by 71–88 %." [Cheema Alleleopathy]


"Coronopus didymus (L.) Sm. is now a synonym of Lepidium didymum L." [PFAF]


Lepidium campestre - field pepper-grass

"General: Annual or biennial herb from a taproot; stems mostly single, erect, branched above, leafy to the inflorescenses, 20-50 cm tall, spreading short-hairy." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Leaves: Basal leaves in a rosette, oblanceolate, stalked, entire to pinnately cut with a large terminal lobe, 5-7 cm long, to 12 mm wide; stem leaves numerous, arrowhead-shaped, minutely toothed, unstalked, upper strongly ear-like and clasping at the base." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Habitat / Range Dry fields, roadsides and waste places in the steppe and montane zones; infrequent in S BC; introduced from Eurasia." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]

"Young leaves and young shoots - raw or cooked[62, 74]. They are best used in the spring[9]. A hot cress-like flavour, they can be finely-chopped and added in small amounts as a flavouring in salads[183]. Immature seedpods[9] - a pungent flavour, they can be used as a flavouring in hot soups and stews[183]. The seed can be used as a pepper substitute[62]." [PFAF]

Aphid Host Plant

"Lipaphis lepidii ssp. lepidiicardiariae, pseudobrassicae; Macrosiphum euphorbiae; Pemphigus sp." [Blackman AWHPS]



Lepidium densiflorum - prairie pepper-grass

"Lepidium densiflorum is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil." [PFAF]

"General: Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems usually single, erect, 10-50 cm tall, branched above, short-hairy." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Leaves: 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." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Notes: Four, sometimes difficult to distinguish, varieties occur in BC." [IFBC-E-flora]

"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." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Native [E-flora]

Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

"An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils." [PFAF]

"Seed - sow spring or late summer in situ. Germination should take place within 3 weeks." [PFAF]


Lepidium heterophyllum - Smith's pepper-grass

"General: Perennial herb from a taproot; stems several, usually ascending, 15-45 cm tall, simple or branched above, stiff-hairy with spreading hairs." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Leaves: 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." [IFBC-E-flora]

"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." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]



Lepidium latifolium - broad-leaved pepper-grass

"General: Perennial from widely spreading underground root system; stems numerous, ascending, 0.5-2.0 m tall; glabrous (or almost)." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Leaves: Basal leaves entire to evenly toothed, up to 30 cm long, 6-8 cm wide, stalks nearly equaling blades; stem leaves reduced, narrower (1-4 cm wide), lower stalked, upper unstalked." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Habitat / Range Wet to mesic beaches, tidal shores, fields, roadsides and waste places; rare in SW and SE BC, known from Vancouver and Windermere; introduced from Europe." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]

Aphid Host Plant

"Lepidaphis deformans, terricola; Lipaphis lepidii; Macrosiphum euphorbiae; Smynthurodes betae" [Blackman AWHPS]



Lepidium ramosissimum - branched pepper-grass

"General: Winter annual or biennial herb from a taproot; stems freely branched, leafy, 10-60 cm tall, short-hairy with fine hairs, the hairs often pointing toward the stem-base." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Leaves: Basal leaves usually deciduous by flowering time, pinnately cut, the lobes more or less toothed; upper stem leaves mostly linear, entire to sparsely lobed." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]


Lepidium ruderale - roadside pepperweed

Status: Exotic [E-flora]

"Young leaves - raw or cooked. A hot cress-like flavour[177]." [PFAF]

"The plant is used in the treatment of impetigo[240]. An aqueous extract of the herb causes a drop in blood pressure and depresses respiration[240]." [PFAF]

"Lepidium ruderale L. (Brassicaceae). wild peppergrass. The whole plant, when burned, produces smoke that was considered useful for repelling a variety of insects, including aphids, beetles, and mites (McIndoo 1945)." [????]

Aphid Host Plant

"Aphis craccivora, gossypii; Brevicoryne brassicae; Lipaphis lepidii, ruderalis; Myzus persicae" [Blackman AWHPS]


Lepidium sativum - garden cress

"General: Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems erect, simple or branched above, 25-70 cm tall, sometimes hairy below, usually glabrous above." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Leaves: Basal leaves commonly deciduous by flowering time; stem leaves pinnately cut and mostly somewhat dissected, the middle and upper ones not clasping." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Habitat / Range Dry to mesic roadsides and waste places; rare in SE BC and on S Vancouver Island; introduced from Eurasia." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]


"No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages. The mustard oil contained in Garden Cress can cause skin blisters and necrosis in higher concentrations. It is sometimes misused as an abortifacient because the internal administration of mustard oil causes severe anemia of the internal organs." [PDR]

Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2) (but PH2 designates no specific quantified dosage! JAD). Large doses can irritate GI mucous membranes (PHR). Mustard oil can cause blisters and necrosis (PH2). Seed extracts are possibly teratological (ZUL). I decided against accepting the Herbal PDR (PH2) report of 37% ascorbic acid, although I have seen reports almost that high for other better known sources of vitamin C." [HMH Duke]

Food Use

"Young leaves - raw or cooked[2, 5, 27, 34, 52, 183]. A hot cress-like flavour, it makes an excellent addition (in small quantities) to the salad bowl[K]. An analysis is available. Root is used as a condiment[46, 61]. A hot pungent flavour, but the root is rather small and woody[K]. The fresh or dried seedpods can be used as a pungent seasoning[183]. The seed can be sprouted in relatively low light until the shoots are a few centimetres long and then be used in salads[183]. They take about 7 days to be ready and have a pleasantly hot flavour. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[46, 61, 105]."[PFAF]

Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)
0 Calories per 100g
Water : 82.3%
Protein: 5.8g; Fat: 1g; Carbohydrate: 8.7g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
Minerals - Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 28.6mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
Vitamins - A: 2970mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.11mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.17mg; Niacin: 1mg; B6: 0mg; C: 87mg;
Reference: [240][PFAF]


Other Use

"The seed yields up to 58% of an edible oil that can also be used for lighting[74]." [PFAF] The oil content of dried cress seeds was 22.7 wt%. The primary fatty acids found in cress oil were oleic (30.6 wt%) and linolenic acids (29.3 wt%). Cress oil contained high concentrations of y- (1422 ppm) and 8[theta?]- (356 ppm) tocopherols. The overall tocopherol concentration of cress oil was 1799. The primary phytosterols elucidated in cress oils were sitosterol and campesterol, with avenasterol also present in significant quantity. The total phytosterol concentration in cress oil (14.41 mg/g). cress oil was more stable to oxidation and over a range of temperatures displayed lower kinematic viscosities as well as a higher viscosity index, when compared to Thlaspi arvense. The oil had excellent lubrication properties." [Moser et al.]

"Lepidium sativum L. (Brassicaceae). garden cress pepperweed. According to Avicenna, the fumes of burning fruits were used in Iran as pest repellents (Mohagheghzadeh et al. 2006)." [UAPDS]

Herbal Use

"The leaves are antiscorbutic, diuretic and stimulant[46, 240]. The plant is administered in cases of asthma, cough with expectoration and bleeding piles[240]. The root is used in the treatment of secondary syphilis and tenesmus[240]. The seeds are galactogogue. They have been boiled with milk and used to procure an abortion, they have been applied as a poultice to pains and hurts and have also been used as an aperient[240]. Fresh foliage has 37% Ascorbic acid - vitamin C." [PFAF]

"Medicinal Parts: The medicinal part is the fresh or dried herb harvested during or shortly after the flowering season. Characteristics: Garden Cress has a radish-like taste. The seeds have a slimy skin and swell in water." [PDR]

Select Indications Asthma (f; DEP; PH2; WOI); Bacteria (1; PHR; PH2); Cancer (f; FNF; HHB; JLH); Cancer, bladder (f; FNF; HHB; JLH); Cancer, breast (f; FNF; HHB; JLH); Cancer, face (f; FNF; HHB; JLH); Cancer, nose (f; FNF; HHB; JLH); Cancer, spleen (f; FNF; HHB; JLH); Cancer, uterus (f; FNF; HHB; JLH); Constipation (f; PHR; PH2; WOI); Cough (1; DEP; PHR; PH2; WOI); Encephalosis (1; PHR; PH2); Hemorrhoid (f; DEP; PH2); Hepatosis (f; WOI); Hiccup (f; DEP); Immunodepression (f; PHR; PH2); Splenosis (f; DEP; JLH); Virus (1; PHR; PH2); Water Retention (f; DEP; PHR; PH2; WOI). [HMH Duke]

"Unproven Uses: The herb is used for coughs, vitamin C deficiency, constipation, poor immunity and as a diuretic. Indian Medicine: Garden Cress is used for vitamin C deficiency, liver disease, asthma, hemorrhoids and as an abortifacient." [PDR]

"Dosages (Garden Cress) — 1–2.5 drachms seed (DEP); 1–3 fluid oz decoction 3–4 ×/day (DEP); none given (PHR)." [HMH Duke]

Effects: "The antibacterial action of Garden Cress has been demonstrated in various tests. It was completely inhibitory in the case of 3 microorganisms, although the antibacterial characteristics depended largely on the age of the plants used. An antiviral effect against the encephalitis virus Columbia SH, was demonstrated in tests on mice. Its diuretic action has not been proven through experiments." [PDR]

Activities "Abortifacient (f; DEP; PH2); Antibacterial (1; PHR; PH2); Antidote (f; DEP); Antiencephalic (1; PHR; PH2); Antiscorbutic (1; HHB); Antiviral (1; PHR; PH2); Aperitif (f; EFS); Aphrodisiac (f; DEP; WOI); Depurative (f; DEP; EFS; HHB); Diuretic (f; DEP; PHR; PH2; WOI); Emmenagogue (f; WOI); Enteroprotective (f; DEP); Gastroprotective (f; DEP); Immunostimulant (f; PHR; PH2); Lactagogue (f; DEP; WOI); Laxative (f; WOI); Piscicide (f; HHB); Stimulant (f; DEP; WOI); Stomachic (f; DEP)." [HMH Duke]

"In a clinical study, the powder of Lepidium sativum dried seeds was found to increase the forced vital capacity, forced expired volume and peak expiratory flow rate in patients with mild-to-moderate bronchial asthma, indicating its usefulness in reducing asthma severity (Paranjape and Mehta, 2006)." [Houghton EHMP]


Fresh Foliage: "Glucosinolates: chief components glucotropaeolin, yielding benzyl isothiocyanate (benzyl mustard oil) and its autolysis products (including benzyl cyanide, 3-phenyl propionitrile, benzaldehyde) when the plant is bruised Ascorbic acid (vitamin C, 37%)" [PDR]

Seeds: "Glucosinolates (3.5 to 5.3%): glucotropeolin Cucurbitacins Cardiac steroids (cardenolides)" [PDR]


"An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils[52]. For the best results, however, it requires a moist soil and also some shade during the summer to prevent it running straight to seed[27, 37, 52]. Garden cress is often cultivated as a sprouted seed, there are some named varieties[183]. It is the cress of 'mustard and cress'. A very easy and fast crop, it can be ready within 7 days from sowing the seed[27]. It can also be grown outdoors as full grown plants and can provide fresh leaves for the salad bowl all year round from successional sowings. Plants can be overwintered outdoors to provide edible leaves all year round, though they will require some protection if temperatures fall below -5oc[200]. This plant is cultivated in Ethiopia for the edible oil from its seed[183]." [PFAF]

Aphid Host Plant

"Aphis fabae; Brevicoryne brassicae; Lipaphis erysimi, ruderalis; Myzus cerasi, persicae" [Blackman AWHPS]


"Seed - if you want a succession of young leaves then it is possible to sow the seed in situ every 3 weeks in succession from early spring to early autumn. Germination is very rapid, usually taking place in less than a week. When sowing seed for use in mustard and cress, the seed is soaked for about 12 hours in warm water and then placed in a humid position. Traditionally, it is sown in a tray on a thin layer of soil, or on some moist blotting paper, and the tray is placed in a warm dark place for a few days to encourage rapid and rather etiolated growth. The seedlings can then be placed in a lighter position for a couple more days to turn green before being eaten. The cress seed should be sown about 3 - 4 days before the mustard for them both to be ready at the same time[264]." [PFAF]


Lepidium virginicum - tall pepper-grass

"Lepidium virginicum is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower from May to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil." [PFAF]

"General: Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems erect, 15-60 cm tall, simple below, freely branched above, hairy to nearly glabrous." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Leaves: Basal leaves egg-shaped, pinnately cut or merely toothed, 2-15 cm long, 0.5-5 cm wide, usually lacking at anthesis; stem leaves gradually reduced upwards, entire or rarely toothed." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Habitat / Range Mesic to dry disturbed areas and waste places in the lowland zone; infrequent in SW BC, known from S Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the adjacent mainland; S to OK, TX, NM, AZ and CA." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Native [E-flora]

Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

"Virginia Peppergrass (Lepidium virginicum L.), “wisakipûko'sa” [a tiny bitter leaf ]. Shown in plate 18, fig. 2. This was the first plant to be pointed out to me as a cure for poison ivy. It is steeped in water to compound a liquid wash. My informant said that the freshly bruised plant is just as efficacious. The white man uses Lepidium infusions as a cure for scurvy. It has also been used among eclectics as a substitute for Capsella." [HuronSmith Menomini]

"Lepidium virginicum L. Peppergrass. Smith 9188. "X~wi~suroh~" (Lots of seed). When one is tired and the feet and legs ache, this plant is cooked and the tea is used to wash the tired members." [HuronSmith Winnebago]

"Wild Peppergrass (Lepidium virginicum L.) The Potawatomi consider this an adventive plant to their territory and they have no Indian name or use for it to our knowledge. The National Dispensatory128 states that the leaves have been used in infusions to cure scurvy. Eclectic practitioners have substituted it for Capsella for its diuretic, emetic, and antirheumatic properties." [HuronSmith zuni]

Aphid Host Plant

"Aphis [acaroides Rafinesque (invalid name)], craccivora, fabae, gossypii, middletonii group; Lipaphis pseudobrassicae; Macrosiphum euphorbiae; Myzus persicae; Neomyzus circumflexus; Pemphigus populitransversus" [Blackman AWHPS]


L. intermedium.


Species Mentioned;

Lepidium Sp. [Wildman]

Uses of Lepidium Sp.

In season from early spring to fall. They're high in vitamin C, and good sources of iron. Various species, all tasty and easily recognizable as peppergrasses, grow across the United States. Many are good from early spring to fall. [Wildman] Greens of Lepidium spp. [Turner&Kuhnlein]

Food Use



Uses of non-local Lepidium Sp.

"Maca (Lepidium meyenii)[Peru] - This species, appearing in the form of a small rosette with a large bulbous root, is commercially produced in the ''most inaccessible and coldest regions of the Sierra'' mountains of Peru. Fresh maca is commonly prepared by baking in ground pits. The roots can also be sun-dried and can be stored for several years. A sweet aromatic porridge, called mazamorra, is prepared by boiling the roots in water or milk. A fermented drink, called maca chicha, can also be made from the roots of this species, and the dried roots are used to impart a special flavor to the native sugar cane rum, or aguardiente. The leaves of this species are also sometimes eaten. Maca roots contain alkaloids, fatty acids, tannins and small quantities of saponines. The roots have been used to increase fertility in both humans and livestock, especially llamas. Macas are rich in sugars, starches, protein (13-16%), glucosinolates and essential minerals, particularly iron and iodine." [Ochoa et al.]

"MACA, PERUVIAN GINSENG (Lepidium meyenii Walp.) ++ Synonym: Lepidium peruvianum Chacon. Activities (Maca) — Antiseptic (f; DAZ); Aphrodisiac (1; X11561196; X11297856); Cicatrizant (f; DAZ); Emmenagogue (f; DAZ); Lipogenic (1; X11048583); Memorigenic (f; EB55:255); Spermatogenic (1; X11561196); Tonic (f; X11297856); Vulnerary (f; DAZ). Indications (Maca) — Anemia (f; EB55:255); Cancer (1; EB55:255); Cancer, breast (1; EB55:255); Cancer, liver (1; EB55:255); Cancer, stomach (1; EB55:255); Debility (f; X11297856); Depression (f; EB55:255); Gastrosis (1; EB55:255); Hepatosis (1; EB55:255); Impotence (1; X11561196; X11297856); High Blood Pressure (f; DAZ); HIV (f; EB55:255); Infertility (1; X11561196); Leukemia (f; EB55:255); Mastosis (1; EB55:255); Pulmonosis (f; DAZ); Stress (1; EB55:255); Wound (f; DAZ). Dosages (Maca) — Maca is traditionally eaten as food in the high Andes. For the herb market, Maca is dried and encapsulated. 300 mg root extract, standardized for 0.6% macamides and macaenes, in a 145 mg base of Maca root, 3 ×/day (NH); 500 mg root 3–6 ×/day (NH). Experimental animal doses: 75 mg root extract/kg (X11297856); 66.7 mg root extract/ml (X11561196); in fairly large quantities. Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Maca) — Not covered (AHP; KOM; PH2). Some importers recommend a periodic break from Maca consumption." [HMH Duke]

Tupeisa - Lepidium bonariense L. Used to treat Sunstroke in childreen. Aerial parts - Decoction - Bath. [Gertsche et al.]

"Lepidium nitidum Nutt. Tapona; khakhsh (B,I), 'iqmai (V). Seeds eaten as pinole; pounded seeds mixed with cold water, drunk for diarrhea; decoction of plant taken for dysentery. [1]" [Ethchumash]

"Lepidium latifolium Linnaeus dittander Europe, south-western Asia, North Africa; introduced into North America ‘The women of Bury [St Edmunds] in Suffolk doe usually give the juice thereof in ale to drinke to women with child to procure them a speedy delivery in travail’. This seventeenth-century report170 by John Parkinson is the only known claim Lepidium latifolium has to be considered a possible folk herb. His contemporary, John Ray, despite his East Anglian background, could do no more than repeat the report without comment.171" [MPFT]


Page last modified on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 7:43 AM