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Cardaria chalepensis
Lepidium chalepensis.  (Lens Pod Pepperwort, Whitetop).  Synonyms: Cardaria chalepensis, Cardaria draba variety repens. 
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Foothills. Fields, lawns, roadsides, disturbed areas. Spring, summer.
Near Yellow Jacket Canyon, May 20, 2011.

Lepidium chalepensis is an invasive, alien species that grows to two feet tall, often with a robust set of lower leaves and progressively smaller upper leaves.  Flowers are quite tiny and seed pods grow rapidly.

Linnaeus named the Lepidium genus in 1753 and he also named this species, Lepidium chalepense. "Lepidion" is Greek for "little scale" and refers to a scale on the seed pod.

The Cardaria genus was named by Desvaux.   Handel-Mazzetti renamed the plant Cardaria chalepensis in 1913.  The Greek "card' means "heart" which refers to the heart-shaped seed pods of Cardaria draba.

Michael Charter points out on his "CalFlora Names" web site, that the "-ensis" ending is a Latin adjectival suffix usually used to indicate the country of origin.  In this case there are two possible places: 

(1) Aleppo, Alep, or Haleb, a city in northwestern Syria. Allepo is also referred to in the form aleppica, aleppicum, aleppicus, and halepensis

(2) Halepa, in Greek: Khalepa, a city in Greece on the island of Crete near Canea.

Cardaria chalepensis

Lepidium chalepensis.  (Lens Pod Pepperwort, Whitetop).  Synonyms: Cardaria chalepensis, Cardaria draba variety repens.
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Foothills. Fields, lawns, roadsides, disturbed areas. Spring, summer.
Near Yellow Jacket Canyon, May 20, 2011.

Floral parts are quickly pushed aside by the rapidly growing pods.

Cardaria chalepensis

Cardaria chalepensis

 

 

 

 

 

Lepidium chalepensis.  (Lens Pod Pepperwort, Whitetop).  Synonyms: Cardaria chalepensis, Cardaria draba variety repens.
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Foothills. Fields, lawns, roadsides, disturbed areas. Spring, summer.
Near Yellow Jacket Canyon, May 20, 2011.

Sunshine behind the plant helps make the stem and leaf hairs obvious.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Cardaria chalepensis

Range map for Lepidium chalepensis