Garden Cress - Lepidium sativum


Short to medium strong smelling plant, greenish, hairless, with a single erect stem. Basal leaves pinnately lobed, soon falling. Stem leaves lobed, not clasping, the uppermost leaves linear, unlobed. Flowers white, occasionally reddish, 3 to 5 mm, fragrant, petals twice as long as the sepals. Fruit 5 to 6 mm, notched, not hairy.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Fruits with wings at apex, to which the style is fused; lower and middle leaves deeply pinnately lobed 

Recording advice

You must attach images that show sufficient detail for the plant to be identified.


Occasional causal on rubbish dumps and other waste places.

When to see it

Flowers June and July.

Life History


UK Status

Occasional but widespread in Britain as garden escape or bird seed introduction.

VC55 Status

Infrequent or under recorded casual in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 8 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Alien (casual), rare

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Cultivated Cress, Garden Cress
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
05/09/2016 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
05/09/2016 (Nicholls, David)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

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