Lepidium latifolium

Lepidium latifolium L. (Eur., SW-As., N-Afr.) – A rare but increasing, locally naturalised alien. Already recorded in the beginning of the 19th century (Durand 1899) along river Meuse near Liège. Furthermore seen along river Escaut near Tournai (1866-1868), Malonne (1887) and Snaaskerke (1886). In the 20th century slightly increasing, especially in the past decades. Known at least since 1969 from the port of Antwerpen (several different locations in the vicinity of Amerikadok, initially near grain mills but now further spreading locally). Also sometimes recorded in urban habitats, often in plantations and in abundance (origin obscure), for instance in Rumst (2005) and Schaarbeek (1994). Recently also discovered along river Maas (in Maasmechelen at least since 1974; also in Kerkeweerd, Kotem and Stokkem), in Watou (border of arable land) in 1999, on the banks of river Lys near Comines-Warneton in 2008, etc. Furthermore naturalised in abundance (ca. 40m) in the central reservation of the E40-motorway near Aalter.

Lepidium latifolium usually grows in nitrophilous, often damp habitats: river or canal banks, waste land or road verges. It is a rhizomatous perennial that often forms dense populations.

Lepidium latifolium is sometimes considered to be native but this is rather unlikely (although the records from the early 19th century along river Meuse – long extinct by now – might have been natural). A possibly native status has never been suggested in early floras in Belgium (Lawalrée 1956). It is now much extending around Dunkerque in northwestern France and will probably arrive in new locations in nearby West-Flanders in a near future.

 Dilsen-Stokkem, gravelly bank of river Maas, June 2011, K. Lambeets  Dilsen-Stokkem, gravelly bank of river Maas, June 2011, K. Lambeets


Selected literature:

Connolly B.A. & Lowe Hale I. (2016) Lepidium latifolium (Brassicaceae): Invasive perennial Pepperweed observed in Rhode Island. Rhodora 118(974): 229-231. [available online at: http://www.rhodorajournal.org/doi/pdf/10.3119/15-22]

De Graaf J.M. (1993) Lepidium latifolium L.: een nieuw pekeladventief? Gorteria 19(4): 103-104.

Durand T. (1899) Phanérogames. In: De Wildeman E. & Durand T., Prodrome de la flore belge. A. Castaigne Editeur, Bruxelles: 1112 p.

Eberle G. (1963) Neue Funde der Breitblättrigen Kresse (Lepidium latifolium L.) in Hessen. Hessische Floristische Briefe 12: 1-3.

Halvorsen R. & Grøstad T. (1998) Er strandkarse Lepidium latifolium L. ei ballastplante i Norge? Tre nye funn av strandkarse i Vestfold og Østfold. Blyttia 56: 126-133. [available online at:  http://nhm2.uio.no/botanisk/nbf/blyttia/1998-02_126-133.pdf]

Klotz S. (1983) Zur Chorologie und Soziologie von Lepidium latifolium L. Wiss. Zeitschr. Martin-Luther-Univ. Halle-Wittenberg, Biowiss. 16: 115-126.

Krause A. (1998) Das Pfefferkraut oder die Breitblättrige Kresse (Lepidium latifolium L.) wieder in Nordrhein-Westfalen bestätigt. Decheniana 151: 50.

Lawalrée A (1956) Cruciferae. In: Robyns W. (ed.), Flore Générale de Belgique, vol. 2, fasc. 2. Jardin Botanique de l’Etat, Bruxelles: 160-285.

Lye K.A. (1989) Strandkarse, Lepidium latifolium L., en havstrandsplante i Norge. Blyttia 47: 109-113.

O'Mahony T. (2001) Lepidium latifolium L. (Dittander) in the Cork flora. Irish Botanical News 11: 11-16. [available online at: http://archive.bsbi.org.uk/IRBotNews2001.pdf]

Palmer J.R. (1994) Dittander near old hospitals. BSBI News 66: 17.

Primavesi T. (1991) Lepidium latifolium L. in Leicestershire. BSBI News 59: 37-38.  

Verloove F. (2002) Ingeburgerde plantensoorten in Vlaanderen. Mededeling van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud n° 20: 227 p.

Verloove F. (2006b) Lepidium latifolium. In: Van Landuyt W., Hoste I., Vanhecke L., Van den Bremt P., Vercruysse W. & De Beer D., Atlas van de flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, Nationale Plantentuin van België en Flo.Wer: 536.

Wake A.J. (1990) The present status of Lepidium latifolium with particular reference to Essex. Nature in N.E. Essex 1988: 30-32.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith