Monday, March 30, 2020
Virginai Peppergrass - Lepidium virginicum
Virginia peppergrass is an annual and persists by its heavy production of seed. It starts out each season as a dense deep-green cluster of toothed leaves on a stout stem and eventually reaches a mature height of several feet. As a mustard, the seeds are "hot" to the taste and make a good substitute for black pepper as a spice. They are produced throughout much of the frost-free months of the year and the brown disc-shaped pods contain many seeds inside. Flowering occurs in most months. The tiny white blooms form on the tips of the branches and are technically a raceme.
Though peppergrass is not a wildflower generally propagated purposely, it has value in the landscape as a host plant for several of the whites - particularly the great southern white and the checkered white. I always leave small patches of them in the corners of my landscape for that purpose. If left alone, however, it will take up an ever-increasing area of a landscape.