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Lepidium virginicum - L.

Common Name Wild Pepper Grass, Virginia pepperweed, Intermediate pepperweed, Menzies' pepperweed, Hairy pepperwe
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry sandy soils[55] in waste places and by roads[43]. Avoids dense woods and wet places[159].
Range N. America - Quebec to Minnesota, south to Florida and Colorado. A casual in many parts of Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Lepidium virginicum Wild Pepper Grass, Virginia pepperweed, Intermediate pepperweed, Menzies


USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 2: 165.
Lepidium virginicum Wild Pepper Grass, Virginia pepperweed, Intermediate pepperweed, Menzies
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Lepidium virginicum is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower from May to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

L. intermedium.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Young leaves - raw or cooked[55, 62, 159]. The leaves are a rich source of vitamin C[254] and have a hot cress-like flavour[144]. Chopped finely and added to salads, used as a garnish or cooked as greens[183]. Unripe seedpods have a pleasantly pungent flavour and can be eaten raw[55] or used as a condiment in soups and stews[183]. The seed is a pepper substitute[62, 159].

Medicinal Uses



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Anthelmintic;  Antiasthmatic;  Antiscorbutic;  Antitussive;  Cardiotonic;  Diuretic.

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[254]. The herb is also diuretic and of benefit in easing rheumatic pain[254]. North American Indians used the bruised fresh plant, or a tea made from the leaves to treat poison ivy rash and scurvy[222]. A poultice of the leaves was applied to the chest in the treatment of croup[222]. The seed is antiasthmatic, antitussive, cardiotonic and diuretic[176]. It is used in the treatment of coughs and asthma with excessive phlegm, oedema, oliguria and liquid accumulation in the thoraco-abdominal cavity[176].A poultice of the bruised roots has been used to draw out blisters[257]. The root is used to treat excess catarrh within the respiratory tract[254].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Lepidium apetalum 22
Lepidium campestrePepperwort, Field pepperweed20
Lepidium chilense 10
Lepidium densiflorumCommon Pepperweed21
Lepidium diffusum 20
Lepidium fremontiiDesert Pepperweed20
Lepidium graminifoliumGrassleaf pepperweed20
Lepidium hyssopifoliumHyssopleaf pepperweed10
Lepidium iberis 11
Lepidium incisum 10
Lepidium intermedium 20
Lepidium latifoliumDittander, Broadleaved pepperweed31
Lepidium meyeniiMaca53
Lepidium nitidumShining Pepperweed, Howell's pepperweed20
Lepidium oleraceum 20
Lepidium perfoliatumClasping pepperweed11
Lepidium rotundumVeined Peppercress20
Lepidium ruderaleNarrow Leaved Peppergrass, Rroadside pepperweed21
Lepidium sativumCress, Gardencress pepperweed31

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

43235

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

iank   Tue Oct 14 2008

Also known as "Poor Man's Pepper," This species prefers dry soils. -J. Kricher. A Field Guide to Eastern Forests; North America. Where found: Dry soil, waste ground. -Lee Allen Peterson. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants; Eastern and Central North America

xavier acosta   Thu Apr 16 2009

Used extensively in Cuba for kidney related problems. All parts of the plant (don't know about the roots) can be used. Some 10 to 20 grams of the fresh herb can be boiled in water for about 10 minutes to make a gallon of infusion. This tea is drunk as water.

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Subject : Lepidium virginicum  
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