Lepidium draba

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.

Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Resources

  • 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 News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

Other Resources

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.

Cal-IPC News Articles

  • (1993). California Exotic Pest Plant Council draft list exotic plants of greatest concern October 1993. CalEPPC News. 1: 6.
  • Goode, S. (1998). Legendary stewardship award. CalEPPC News. 6: 10.
  • Owen, K. (2004). An island called Santa Cruz: Removing invasives on the Channel Islands. Cal-IPC News. 12: 4-5,13.
  • Young, J. A. and C. Turner (1995). Lepidium latifolium L. in California. CalEPPC News. 3. 3: 4-5.