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    "Lepidium" is from the Greek for "a small scale" and refers to a scale on the seed.  Linnaeus named this genus in 1753.
Lepidium lasiocarpum
Lepidium lasiocarpum
Lepidium lasiocarpum (Hairy Pod Pepperwort)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, openings. Spring.
McElmo Canyon, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Above: April 22, 2016. Left: April 2, 2005.

Above the basal rosette of deeply cut leaves, Lepidium lasiocarpum is thick stemmed and sparsely leaved.  Flowers are minute in a whorled cluster.  This is not a commonly observed plant and its weedy look does not make it so attractive when it is observed, but a close inspection reveals intricate beauty. 

The vertically pointing seeds in the lower left and at the bottom of the photograph and the finely cut, fern-like leaves belong to Filaree, Erodium cicutarium.

"Lasio" "carpum" is Greek for "hairy" "fruited". 

Thomas Nuttall, famed 18th century collector and Harvard Professor, collected this species in 1836 and named it in Torrey and Gray's 1838 Flora of North America. (Click the title to read.)  (More biographical information about Nuttall.)

Lepidium lasiocarpum
Lepidium lasiocarpum (Hairy Pod Pepperwort)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, openings. Spring.
McElmo Canyon, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, April 2, 2005.

Notice how the appearance of the leaf -- its sheen, for instance, depends on the way the leaf faces you.  This change in appearance can be seen in many plants and is very often, as in this case, caused by hairs.

Lepidium lasiocarpum
Lepidium lasiocarpum (Hairy Pod Pepperwort)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, openings. Spring.
McElmo Canyon, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, April 22, 2016.

Silicles (seed pods) are notched at their tip and usually hairy.

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

Range map for Lepidium lasiocarpum