Lepidium draba

Photo courtesy Ron Vanderhoff

Synonyms: Cardaria draba

Common names: heart-podded hoary cress, whitetop

Lepidium draba (hoary cress) is a perennial herb (family Brassicaceae) found most commonly in riparian areas and marshes of the central coast of California. It is also found in the southwestern region of the state, the Sacramento Valley, and the Klamath Range, where it is very invasive. This plant quickly colonizes disturbed sites, irrigated agricultural fields, roadsides and ditches. Hoary cress reproduces by seed and vegetatively from its extensive root system. Plants may resprout from small root fragments, especially where the soil is moist. Hoary cress also spreads rapidly due to its prolific seed production, but extensive control efforts have decreased the rate of spread in recent years.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Assessment

Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

  • Clines, J. (2005). Preventing weed spread via contaminated hay and straw. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
  • DiTomaso, J. M. (2005). Efficacy and safety of new herbicides on the horizon. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
  • Gerlach, J. D. (1997). How the west was lost: Reconstructing the invasion dynamics of yellow star-thistle and other plant invaders of western rangelands and natural areas. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '97. Concord, CA.
  • Young, J. A., D. E. Palmquist, et al. (1995). Ecology and control of perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium L.). California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '95. J. Lovich, J. Randall and M. Kelly. Pacific Grove, CA.

Other Lepidium draba Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • CalFlora - Distribution information based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.