Fact Sheets


Lepidium campestre (L.) W. T. Aiton

Family :

Famille :


Synonym(s) :

Synonyme(s) :

Thlaspi campestre L. (USDA-ARS 2021)

Neolepia campestris (Linnaeus) W. A. Weber               (FNA. 1993+)

Common Name(s) :

Nom(s) commun(s) :

Field peppergrass
(English) (GC 2016)

Lépidie des champs (French) (GC 2016)

Field cress (English) (CABI 2021)

Field pepperweed (English) (CABI 2021)

Passerage champetre (French) (CABI 2021)

  • Field peppergrass (Lepidium campestre) seeds

  • Field peppergrass (Lepidium campestre) seeds and pod

  • Field peppergrass (Lepidium campestre) seed

  • Field peppergrass (Lepidium campestre) seed

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Regulation :

Remarques Réglementation:

  • CFIA Weed Seeds Order - Class 3: Secondary Noxious Weed Seeds

Regulation Notes:

Distribution :

Répartition :

Native to parts of Europe and western parts of temperate Asia (USDA-ARS 2021). Naturalized in eastern temperate Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America and South Africa (USDA-ARS 2021). Occurs in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. (Brouillet et al. 2010+).

Habitat and Crop Association :

Habitat et Cultures Associées :

Cultivated fields, pastures, gardens, old fields, meadows, open-flats, forests, rocky slopes, roadsides and disturbed areas (FNA 1993+; Darbyshire 2003).

Economic Use, cultivation area, and Weed Association :

Utilisation économique, zone de culture et association de mauvaises herbes :

Duration of Life Cycle :

Durée du cycle vital:

Annual or Biennial

Dispersal Unit Type :

Type d’unité de dispersion :


General Information


Lepidium campestre is poisonous to livestock (Darbyshire 2003).


Lepidium campestre flowers (Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, Bugwood.org)



  • Silicle


    • Silicle length: 5.0 – 6.0 mm; width 4.0 – 5.0 mm (FNA 1993+)


    • Silicle is compressed oblong or egg-shaped with a V-shaped notch at one end

    Surface Texture

    • Silicle surface granular textured


    • Silicle is dull yellow coloured

    Other Features

    • Silicle is shiny green coloured when immature
    • A persistent style remnant is within the notch at the end of the pod 0.2 – 0.5 mm long (FNA 1993+)
    • A thin, smooth textured wing around the outside of the pod
    • Silicle is curved towards one flat face, appearing scoop-shaped
  • Seed


    • Seed length*: 2.1 – 2.4 mm; width: 1.2 – 1.4 mm
    *Note: minimum and maximum of 10 seeds in a normal range of this species using image measurement (ISMA 2020)


    • Seed oval or egg-shaped, slightly compressed, narrow at hilum end

    Surface Texture

    • Seed surface densely covered in papillate tubercles


    • Seed dull dark reddish-brown

    Other Features

    Hilum & Hilum area

    • The hilum end is narrow pointed and the other end is wider and curved
    • A small piece of dull yellowish tissue is attached to the hilum


    • An orange coloured line is visible between the radicle and the cotyledons
  • Embryo


    • Embryo the same size as the seed


    • Embryo is bent


    • Endosperm is scant or lacking, nutritive tissue contained within cotyledons

    Other Features

    • Cotyledons are oval shaped, soft and translucent yellow coloured

Identification Tips


The oval or egg-shaped seeds of Lepidium campestre appear similar to other Lepidium species such as L. draba, L. appelianum, L. sativum and L. densiflorum. Studies have found that L. campestre is closely related to the noxious weeds L. draba and L. appelianum (Bona 2014). The seeds can be distinguished primarily by colour and texture: L. campestre seeds are dark brown colour with a papillate tuberculate surface, while other species have reddish seeds with a more smooth surface.

Additional Botany Information


Similar Species


Similar species are based on a study of seed morphology of various species, and those with similar dispersal units are identified. The study is limited by physical specimen and literature availability at the time of examination, and possibly impacted by the subjectivity of the authors based on their knowledge and experience. Providing similar species information for seed identification is to make users aware of similarities that could possibly result in misidentification.

Lepidium appelianum Al-Shehbaz (globe-pod hoary cress)

L. appelianum seeds (length*: 1.5- 2.0 mm; width: 1.0 – 1.4 mm) are generally smaller than field peppergrass, reddish coloured rather than dark reddish-brown, the hilum area is rounded rather than pointed and the surface is less rough than L. campestre.

*Note: minimum and maximum of 10 seeds in a normal range of this species using image measurement (ISMA 2020)

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Bona, M. 2014. Taxonomic revision of Lepidium L. (Brassicaceae) from Turkey. Journal of the Faculty of Pharmacy of Istanbul University 44:31-62.

Brouillet, L., Coursol, F., Meades, S. J., Favreau, M., Anions, M., Bélisle, P. and Desmet, P. 2010+. VASCAN, the database of vascular plants of Canada. http://data.canadensys.net/vascan/ Accessed April 26, 2021.

Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI). 2021. Invasive Species Compendium, CAB International, Wallingford, UK. https://www.cabidigitallibrary.org/journal/cabicompendium Accessed April 26, 2021

Darbyshire, S. J. 2003. Inventory of Canadian Agricultural Weeds. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Branch. Ottawa, ON.

Flora of North America (FNA) Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico [Online]. 22+ vols. New York and Oxford. http://beta.floranorthamerica.org. Accessed December 29, 2022.

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Secretariat. 2022. https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei Accessed via https://www.gbif.org/species/7703116 Accessed December 29, 2022.

Government of Canada (GC). 2016. Canadian Weed Seeds Order. https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2016-93/page-2.html (English) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/fra/reglements/DORS-2016-93/page-2.html (French)

International Seed Morphology Association (ISMA). 2020. Method for Seed Size Measurement. Version 1.0. ISMA Publication Guide.  https://www.idseed.org/authors/details/method_for_seed_size_measurement.html

U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Services (USDA-ARS). 2021. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx Accessed April 26, 2021.



Jennifer Neudorf, Angela Salzl, Ruojing Wang, Karen Castro, Katrina Entwistle

Canadian Food Inspection Agency