Lepidium draba

Photo: 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?

CDFA Rating: -*?


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.

Species ID Card

Invasive Species ID Card - To support field identification of early detection species, Cal-IPC has designed a set of Species ID cards that can be downloaded, printed double-sided, and trimmed to size.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Lepidium draba Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Lepidium draba_flowers_Ron Vanderhoff
    Lepidium draba (heart-podded hoary cress) flowers. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Lepidium draba_infestation_Ron Vanderhoff
    Lepidium draba (heart-podded hoary cress) infestation. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Lepidium draba_leaves, stem, and inflorescence_Ron Vanderhoff
    Lepidium draba (heart-podded hoary cress) leaves, stem, and inflorescence. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Lepidium draba_seed pods_copyright 2001_CDFA
    Lepidium draba (heart-podded hoary cress) seed pods. Photo: &#169 2001 CDFA