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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Lepidium montanum Nutt.
Mountain peppergrass, Western peppergrass, Mountain pepperweed, Mountain pepperwort, Montana pepperweed
USDA Symbol: lemo2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A round plant formed by many slender branches, each branch ending in a short dense raceme of minute white flowers. Mountain pepperwort is a 1-2 ft., dense, shrub-like biennial or short-lived perennial. Basal leaves are larger than stem leaves; all leaves may be either pinnately lobed or entire. In bloom, the plant is covered with small clusters of small, white flowers.
There are at least 15 races of this species, but in this region any perennial, rather bushy mustard with small white flowers is likely to be Western Peppergrass. The showiest peppergrass is Fremonts Peppergrass (L. fremontii), found from southeastern California to southwestern Utah, western Arizona, and northwestern Mexico; it has white flowers with petals 1/4 (5 mm) long and pods resembling broad hearts about 1/4 (6 mm) wide.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Biennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Flowers in 2 inch heads
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , TX , UT , WY Native Distribution:
W. TX to e. AZ, n. to s. ID & Beaverhead Co., MT Native Habitat:
Sandy, saline, or calcareous sites USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Soil Description:
Sandy, saline, or calcareous soils. Saline, Calcareous, Limestone-based, Caliche type, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Saline tolerant Conditions Comments:
Seeds are used as a peppery spice, thus the common name. This is a short-lived perennial
so some seedlings must be allowed to survive for replacement plants.
Border, Rock gardens, Showy, Blooms ornamental, Perennial
garden Use Wildlife:
Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-insects. Conspicuous Flowers:
Butterflies Larval Host:
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
PropagationDescription: Propagate with cuttings or sow seed in early fall.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Austin, TX
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Record Modified: 2012-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff