Lepidium montanum is a species of flowering plant in the mustard family known by the common names mountain pepperweed, mountain peppergrass, mountain pepperwort, and mountain pepperplant. It is native to western North America from Oregon to Montana to northern Mexico, where it can be found in a number of habitats, often on salty or gravelly soils. There are several varieties, many of which are difficult to distinguish.
This is a short, spreading, shrublike biennial herb producing a rounded form up to about 40 centimeters tall and greater in width. The leaves near the base of the plant are up to 15 centimeters long and are divided into several toothed lobes; those further up on the stem are shorter and often undivided. The plant flowers abundantly in rounded to cylindrical inflorescences a few centimeters wide. Each small flower has white to cream-colored petals about 2 millimeters long and two to six stamens. The fruit is an oval-shaped capsule a few millimeters long.
Varieties of the species include:
- var. alpinum - alpine pepperweed, Wasatch pepperwort - endemic to Utah
- var. claronense - mountain pepperweed, Casto Canyon pepperwort - endemic to Utah
- var. coloradense - endemic to Colorado
- var. neeseae - Elizabeth's pepperweed, Neese's pepperwort - endemic to Utah
- var. nevadense - Pueblo Valley peppergrass - native to Oregon and Nevada
- Lepidium montanum. NatureServe. 2012.
- Lepidium montanum. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
- Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. (1998). Endemic and Rare Plants of Utah: An Overview of their Distribution and Status. Pg. 75.
- Nevada Natural Heritage Program. (2001). Rare Plant Fact Sheet.
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