Lepidium papilliferum

Slickspot Peppergrass

FWS Focus


Slickspot peppergrass is a tap-rooted, intricately-branched plant. The plant flowers once and then dies (it is monocarpic), and displays two different life cycles, an annual and a biennial form. The plant averages 2 to 8 inches, but can reach up to 16 inches in height. Leaves and stems are covered with fine, soft hairs, and the leaves are divided into linear segments. Flowers are numerous, 0.1 inches diameter, white, and 4-petalled. Fruits (silicles) are 0.1 inches, round in outline, flattened, and 2-seeded. The annual form of the Slickspot peppergrass matures, reproduces by setting seed, and dies in one growing season. The biennial life form initiates growth in the first year as a rosette, but does not produce seed and die until the second year. Biennial rosettes must survive dry summers on the Idaho Snake River Plain and Owyhee Plateau, and consequently many of these rosettes die before flowering and producing seed. The proportion of annuals versus biennials in a population can vary greatly.

Scientific Name

Lepidium papilliferum
Common Name
slickspot peppergrass
Idaho pepperweed
FWS Category
Flowering Plants

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



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