Weed Seed: Lepidium campestre (Field peppergrass)



Common Name

Field peppergrass


Secondary Noxious, Class 3 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.


Canadian: Occurs in AB, BC, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE and QC (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).

Worldwide: Native to parts of Europe and western parts of temperate Asia (USDA-ARS, 2016Footnote 2). Naturalized in eastern temperate Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2).

Duration of life cycle

Annual or Biennial

Seed or fruit type


Identification features


  • Seed length: 2.0 - 3.0 mm
  • Seed width: 1.5 - 2.0 mm
  • Seed thickness: 1.5 mm


  • Seed oval, compressed, tapers at hilum end

Surface Texture

  • Seed surface densely covered in small tubercles


  • Seed dark reddish-brown

Other Features

  • One end of seed is rounded and the other end is narrow with yellowish tissue over the hilum
  • Pale line visible between the radicle and the cotyledons on the seed

Habitat and Crop Association

Cultivated fields, pastures, gardens, old fields, meadows, open-flats, forests, rocky slopes, roadsides and disturbed areas (FNA 1993+Footnote 3, Darbyshire 2003Footnote 4).

General Information

Field peppergrass is poisonous to livestock (Darbyshire 2003Footnote 4).

Similar species

Globe-pod hoary cress (Lepidium appelianum)

  • Globe-pod hoary cress has a similar oval shape and roughened surface as field peppergrass.
  • Globe-pod hoary cress (length: 2.0 - 2.5 mm; width: 1.3 - 1.8 mm) is generally smaller than field peppergrass, reddish rather than dark reddish-brown, the hilum area is rounded and the surface is not tuberculate.


Field peppergrass (Lepidium campestre) seeds and pod
Field peppergrass (Lepidium campestre) seed
Field peppergrass (Lepidium campestre) seed
Field peppergrass (Lepidium campestre) seed

Similar species

Similar species: Globe-pod hoary cress (Lepidium appelianum) seeds and pod
Similar species: Globe-pod hoary cress (Lepidium appelianum) seed
Similar species: Globe-pod hoary cress (Lepidium appelianum) seed, hilum view
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