VIRGINIA PEPPERWEED, Lepidium
virginicum L. 1, top of plant; 2, 3, leaves;
4, seed; 5, flower. Annual or winter annual,
reproducing by seed. Stems much branched, 6 to 18 inches (15 to
45 cm) high, not hairy, or with very fine hairs. Leaves on stem
lanceolate to linear, coarsely toothed, usually without petioles; basal
leaves obovate, with one large terminal lobe and several smaller dentate
lateral ones, hairless. Flowers small, white, 4-petaIed, borne in
racemes which grow for considerable periods, so that there are often ripe
seeds below and flowers at the tip of the raceme. Seed pod
round, about 1/8 inch (3 mm) across, containing 2 reddish-yellow seeds.
Found in fields, roadsides, waste areas. A common, but readily controlled,
weed. Other similar but less common species are found in the region.