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Pepperweed

By: Garden Gate staff
If you crush or bite into a pepperweed seed pod, you’ll know where it gets its name. It has a definite pungent scent and taste. A biennial, pepperweed sprouts in the fall and spends the winter as a small rosette of leaves.

pest watch

Pepperweed Lepidium virginicum

IDENTIFICATION – If you crush or bite into a pepperweed seed pod, you’ll know where it gets its name. It has a definite pungent scent and taste. A biennial, pepperweed sprouts in the fall and spends the winter as a small rosette of leaves. In spring it grows with a central stem and smaller side branches. Although usually about a foot tall, it can grow up to 6 ft.

The leaves are small and oblong, and clusters of tiny, green-white flowers bloom along the stems. After flowering in the spring, it produces small pods that each contain two yellow-orange seeds.

FAVORITE CONDITIONS – You’ll often find pepperweed growing in dry soil, but it’ll sprout anywhere that receives at least half a day of sun.

CONTROL – Pepperweed is a garden pest that pulls easily. Or you can mow it down in lawns or rough areas before it produces seeds. This should lessen the infestation with each passing year.

Published: July 17, 2007
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