Plants of
South Australia
Lepidium leptopetalum
Cruciferae
Slender Peppercress
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Lepidium from the Greek 'lepis' meaning a scale; referring to the appearance of the fruits. Leptopetalum from the Greek 'leptos' meaning slender and 'petalum' meaning petals; referring to the species narrow petals.

Distribution and status

Found in the east central part of South Australia, growing in semi-arid areas on on calcareous soils. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect perennial shrub to 60 cm tall. Leaves linear to subterete, succulent, clustered, to 5 cm long. Inflorescence a short spike with white to yellow flowers. Flowering between July and November. Fruits are pale brown ovoid pods with winged in the upper half forming an open notch at the top. Seeds are orange reniform seed to 6 mm long and 3 mm wide. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and January. 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.