Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
Invasive Plant

Hoary cress

Lepidium draba

About This Species

Hoary cress (Heart-podded hoary cress, White top) is a perennial plant that invades open, sunny areas such as hayfields, meadows, and roadsides. It is native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It spreads by roots and seeds and crowds out native vegetation. A single plant can produce 4,800 seeds and can spread up to 3.5 m2 per year. Hoary cress is designated as a Regional Noxious Weed by the BC Weed Control Act, as well as a Regional Containment/Control species by the BC Provincial Priority Invasive Species List. 

How to Identify

Hoary cress grows from 10-60 cm tall. 

It has numerous white flowers with 4 petals each. These dense flower clusters give the weed a flat-topped appearance early in the season. Seed pods are heart-shaped. 

Leaves on mature plants are hairy and shaped like arrowheads. Upper leaves on immature plants are typically hairless and clasp the stem. 

Take Action

Mowing 2-3 times a year for several years may slow the spread and reduce seed production. Mowing should be completed prior to flowering during the budding stage, and repeated when the plants re-develop flower buds.

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