Narrow-leaved Pepperwort - Lepidium ruderale


Short, scarcely hairy, strong smelling plant, with a single erect stem. Basal leaves pinnately lobed, upper leaves untoothed. Flowers tiny, green, 1 mm and usually petal less. Fruit 2 to 2.5 mm elliptical, deeply notched with narrow wings on hairy stalks.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Small plant, lower leaves pinnate, and upper simple and linear.  Small rounded fruits with wings at apex, notched with a shorter style

Recording advice

General photo of plant in habitat, showing fruits


Originally mainly coastal, increasingly seen inland alongside main roads where it seems to tolerate the winter salting.

When to see it

May to July.

Life History

Annual or biennial.

UK Status

Fairly frequent now throughout England, scarcer and mainly coastal elsewhere.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent and probably increasing in Leicestershire and Rutland alongside main roads where it is tolerant of winter salting. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 39 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Alien (archaeophyte), occasional

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
Narrow-leaved Pepperwort
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
23/05/2007 (Calow, Graham)
Last record:
06/10/2023 (Smith, Peter)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

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