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Lepidium flavum 3.jpg
Lepidium flavum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Lepidium

about 175-220, see text

Lepidium is a genus of plants in the mustard/cabbage family, Brassicaceae. The genus is widely distributed in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia.[1] It includes familiar species such as garden cress, maca, and dittander. General common names include peppercress, peppergrass, pepperweed, and pepperwort. Some species form tumbleweeds.[2] The genus name Lepidium is a Greek word meaning 'small scale', which is thought to be derived from a folk medicine usage of the plant to treat leprosy, which cause small scales on the skin. Another meaning is related to the small scale-like fruit.[3]


Lepidium lasiocarpum var. lasiocarpum

There are about 175[4] to 220[1] species in the genus.[3] 10 species are found in California.[3]

Species include:


  1. ^ a b Lepidium. Flora of North America.
  2. ^ Faulkner, H. W. (1917). The Mysteries of the Flowers. Frederick A. Stokes company. p. 238. page 210
  3. ^ a b c Sia Morhardt and Emil Morhardt California Desert Flowers: An Introduction to Families, Genera, and Species , p. 101, at Google Books
  4. ^ Mummenhoff, K., et al. (2001). Chloroplast DNA phylogeny and biogeography of Lepidium (Brassicaceae). American Journal of Botany 88(11), 2051-63.
  5. ^ Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden. 20 Dec 2011
  6. ^ Hagwood, Sheri. "Sensitive Plants of the JRA" (PDF). Idaho BLM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.


  • Everitt, J.H.; Lonard, R.L.; Little, C.R. (2007). Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press. ISBN 0-89672-614-2
  • "Lepidium". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 2008-02-28.

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