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Vascular Plants of California
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Lepidium latifolium


Higher Taxonomy
Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub; sap pungent, watery. Leaf: generally simple, alternate; generally both basal, cauline; stipules 0. Inflorescence: generally raceme, generally not bracted. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 4, generally free; petals (0)4, forming a cross, generally white or yellow to purple; stamens generally 6 (2 or 4), 4 long, 2 short (3 pairs of unequal length); ovary 1, superior, generally 2-chambered with septum connecting 2 parietal placentas; style 1, stigma entire or 2-lobed. Fruit: capsule, generally 2-valved, "silique" (length >= 3 × width) or "silicle" (length < 3 × width), dehiscent by 2 valves or indehiscent, cylindric or flat parallel or perpendicular to septum, segmented or not. Seed: 1--many, in 1 or 2 rows per chamber, winged or wingless; embryo strongly curved.
Genera In Family: +- 330 genera, 3780 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Highest diversity in Mediterranean area, mountains of southwestern Asia, adjacent central Asia, western North America; some Brassica species are oil or vegetable crops; Arabidopsis thaliana used in experimental molecular biology; many species are ornamentals, weeds. Aurinia saxatilis (L.) Desvaux in cultivation only. Aubrieta occasional waif in central NCoR, Carrichtera annua (L.) DC. in SCo, Iberis sempervirens L., Iberis umbellata L. in PR, Teesdalia coronopifolia (Bergeret) Thell., Teesdalia nudicaulis (L.) W.T. Aiton in southern NCoRO, CCo. Cardaria, Coronopus moved to Lepidium; Caulostramina to Hesperidanthus; Guillenia to Caulanthus; Heterodraba to Athysanus; California taxa of Lesquerella to Physaria; Malcolmia africana to Strigosella.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: LepidiumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

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.
Etymology: (Greek: little scale, from fruit)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Al-Shehbaz et al. 2002 Novon 12:5--11
Unabridged Reference: Hitchcock 1936 Madroño 3:265--300
Lepidium latifolium L.
Habit: Perennial herb, rhizomed, glabrous or hairy. Stem: erect, (2)3.5--12(15) dm, branched distally. Leaf: basal not rosetted, (2)3.5--15(25) cm, elliptic-ovate to oblong, entire or serrate, leathery; mid-cauline sessile or short-petioled, (1)2--9(12) cm, 0.3--4.5 cm wide, oblong to lanceolate, entire or serrate, base not lobed. Inflorescence: panicle, +- elongated or not; rachis glabrous or puberulent, hairs cylindric. Flower: sepals 1--1.4 mm; petals 1.8--2.5 mm, 0.8--1.3 mm wide, obovate, white; stamens 6. Fruit: (1.6)1.8--2.4(2.7) mm, 1.3--1.8 mm wide, oblong-elliptic to broadly ovate or +- round, flat, wingless, notch 0 (0.1 mm); valves glabrous or soft-hairy, not veined; style 0.05--0.15 mm, exserted beyond notch; pedicel spreading to ascending, 2--5(6) mm, cylindric, glabrous or puberulent adaxially. Seed: 0.8--1.2 mm, oblong. Chromosomes: 2n=24.
Ecology: Pastures, disturbed areas, fields, grassland, saline meadows, streambanks, sagebrush scrub, pinyon/juniper woodland, edge of marshes; Elevation: < 2500 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA (exc KR, D); Distribution Outside California: southern Canada, United States; native to Eurasia. Flowering Time: Jun--Sep
Jepson eFlora Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Al-Shehbaz et al. 2002 Novon 12:5--11
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Noxious Weed listed on the CDFA Weed Pest Ratings table
View the CDFA Pest Rating page for Lepidium latifolium
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

Previous taxon: Lepidium lasiocarpum subsp. lasiocarpum
Next taxon: Lepidium latipes

Botanical illustration including Lepidium latifoliumbotanical illustration including Lepidium latifolium

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Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Lepidium latifolium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 23, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 23, 2024.

Lepidium latifolium
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©2009 Barry Rice
Lepidium latifolium
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©2014 Neal Kramer
Lepidium latifolium
click for image enlargement
©2009 Barry Rice
Lepidium latifolium
click for image enlargement
©2013 Neal Kramer

More photos of Lepidium latifolium
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Lepidium latifolium:
CA (exc KR, D)
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map of distribution 1

(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurrence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.

View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).