Plants of
South Australia
Lepidium oxytrichum
Green Peppercress
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3

Prior names

Lepidium papillosum var. normale

Lepidium papillosum f. purpureum

Common names

Green Peppercress


Lepidium from the Greek 'lepis' meaning a scale; referring to the appearance of the fruits. Oxytrichum from the Greek 'oxys' meaning sharp)and 'thrix' meaning hair; referring to the needle-like hairs on the stems and fruit.

Distribution and status

Found across the northern part of South Australia, growing on sandy and loamy soils. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect ephemeral or annual herb to 30 cm high, stems with needle-like hairs and often purple on mature plants. Basal leaves pinnate to bipinnate, to 10 cm long, stem leaves reducing to remotely toothed. Inflorescence an elongating spike with tiny white flowers. Flowering between June and September. Fruits are brown elliptic to obovate pod 5 mm long and 4 mm wide, with scattered needle-like hairs and wings in upper half forming an open notch at the apex. Seeds are orange reinform seed to 1.7 mm long and 1 mm wide, with fine tuberculated surface. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between August and November. Collect maturing pods those turning pale brown with hard seeds inside. Be gentle with the pods as they split open easily. Place the pods in a tray and cover with paper to prevent seeds from popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the dried pods gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.