Page author: David Giblin
Lepidium didymum
lesser swinecress, lesser wartcress

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, Arizona, and Texas eastward and northward to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, gardens and wasteland.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Introduced from South America (or possibly Eurasia)

Growth Duration: Annual, Biennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Low, spreading, glabrous to scurfy-pubescent annual, the stems freely-branched, decumbent, 2-5 dm. long.


Leaves alternate, numerous, ovate-oblong, 1.5-3 cm. long, pinnatifid, the segments narrow, entire to pinnatifid.


Inflorescence of many-flowered, crowded, axillary, bractless racemes 1-4 cm. long; pedicles slender, 1.5-2.5 mm. long; sepals 4, spreading, 0.5 mm. long, deciduous; petals 4, white, linear, minute; stamens 2.


Silicles strongly wrinkled, 2 mm. broad and 1.5 mm. long, cordate and notched, inflated and slightly obcompressed.

Accepted Name:
Lepidium didymum L.
Publication: Syst. Nat. ed. 12. 2: 433. 1767; Mant Pl. 1: 92. 1767.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Coronopus didymus (L.) Sm. [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Lepidium didymum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Lepidium didymum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Lepidium didymum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Lepidium didymum photos.

USDA Plants: Lepidium didymum information.

14 photographs:
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