Clypeola caroliniana Walter
Crucifera virginica (L.) E.H.L.Krause
Cynocardamum virginicum Webb & Berthel.
Dileptium diffusum Raf.
Dileptium precox Raf.
Dileptium virginicum (L.) Raf.
Iberis virginica (L.) Fisch. & C.A.Mey.
Lepidium arcuatum DC.
Lepidium danielsii C.L.Hitchc.
Lepidium diandrum Medik.
Lepidium exiguiflorum Clairv.
Lepidium gerloffianum Vatke ex Thell.
Lepidium horstii Johow
Lepidium iberis L.
Lepidium majus Darracq
Lepidium micropterum Miq.
Lepidium praecox DC.
Nasturtiastrum virginicum (L.) Gillet & Magne
Nasturtium diandrum Moench
Nasturtium iberis (L.) Crantz
Nasturtium majus (Darracq) Kuntze
Nasturtium virginicum (L.) Kuntze
Semetum ramosum Raf.
Thlaspi virginianum Poir.
Thlaspi virginicum (L.) Cav.
Common Name: Wild Pepper Grass
Lepidium virginicum is an annual to biennial plant growing 20 - 70cm tall. The erect stem is usually only branched towards the top, but is sometimes many-branched[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine.
Originally from N. America, Lepidium virginicum has become a naturalized weed in many areas from the temperate zone to the tropics[
N. America - British Columbia, then Ontario and Quebec, south through much of the USA and Mexico to Honduras
Roadsides, bottomlands, gravelly and sandy shores, waste grounds stream banks, grassy meadows, dry flats and stream beds, abandoned fields, woods, cliffs, plains, pastures, desert shrub communities, dry mountain slopes; at elevations to 2,600 metres[
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils.
Young leaves - raw or cooked[
]. The leaves are a rich source of vitamin C[
] and have a hot cress-like flavour[
]. Chopped finely and added to salads, used as a garnish or cooked as greens[
Unripe seedpods have a pleasantly pungent flavour and can be eaten raw[
] or used as a condiment in soups and stews[
The seed is a pepper substitute[
The leaves of wild pepper-grass are nutritious and generally detoxifying, they have been used to treat vitamin C deficiency and diabetes, and to expel intestinal worms[
]. The herb is also diuretic and of benefit in easing rheumatic pain[
]. A sweetened decoction of the plant is sometimes administered to babies suffering from colic, and it is a domestic remedy for affections of the stomach and intestines[
North American Indians used the bruised fresh plant, or a tea made from the leaves to treat poison ivy rash and scurvy[
]. A poultice of the leaves was applied to the chest in the treatment of croup[
The seed is antiasthmatic, antitussive, cardiotonic and diuretic[
]. It is used in the treatment of coughs and asthma with excessive phlegm, oedema, oliguria and liquid accumulation in the thoraco-abdominal cavity[
The root is used to treat excess catarrh within the respiratory tract[
A poultice of the bruised roots has been used to draw out blisters[
Seed - sow spring in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks.