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

    The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


    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

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map