Virginia pepperweed

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Lepidium virginicum L.

Common name(s): Virginia pepperweed, Virginia peppergrass, Virginian peppercress, peppergrass, poor man’s pepper, poorman’s pepperwort, poor-man’s pepperweed

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– annual or biennial

-leaves are:

  • simple
  • alternate
  • entire

– initially forms basal rosette with lobed leaves

– may be confused with L. densiflorum or L. sativum; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage


-man made disturbed areas



Natural History:

-leaves are edible

-used in salads



Go Botany. “Lepidium Virginicum L.” Lepidium Virginicum (Poor-Man’s Pepperweed): Go Botany, 2021,