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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Lepidium montanum (Mountain peppergrass)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Lepidium montanum

Lepidium montanum Nutt.

Mountain Peppergrass, Western Peppergrass, Mountain Pepperweed, Mountain Pepperwort, Montana Pepperweed

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)


USDA Symbol: LEMO2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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 Fremont's 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.


From the Image Gallery

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Green
Flower: Flowers in 2 inch heads
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: 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

Growing Conditions

Water 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.


Use Ornamental: Border, Rock gardens, Showy, Blooms ornamental, Perennial garden
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-insects.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Checkered white.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Checkered White
(Pontia protodice)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: 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 on display at the following locations:

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX


Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Lepidium montanum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lepidium montanum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lepidium montanum


Record Modified: 2012-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff

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