Synonyms: Cardaria draba ssp. draba, Lepidium draba, Lepidium draba ssp. draba
Hoary cress as seen along Rock Creek at the Escure Ranch, eastern Adams County, Washington................May 14, 2011.
Hoary cress is also known as heart-podded hoary cress. It is a fairly common, weedy perennial of the west. Its erect or spreading stems reach from 20-50 cm tall from strongly spreading rhizomes. The herbage is minutely hairy, giving it a gray-green appearance. The ovate-oblong to oblong-oblanceolate leaves are toothed, and range from 4-10 cm in length. The lower leaves are petiolate, while the upper ones are sessile and clasping. The leaves are alternate on the stems.
The inflorescence is more or less corymbose, with numerous racemes. The result is that the inflorescence appears flat-topped. The 4 sepals are about 2-2.5 mm long, while the 4 white petals are 3-4 mm long. 6 stamens are present as well as 1 style. The seed capsules are inflated silicles, which are deltoid-ovoid or cordate-ovoid in shape.
New plants arise from seeds as well as segments of roots. Once established, this species is hard to eradicate.
Hoary cress is found in old fields, along roadsides, and in other open, disturbed places.
A European weed, hoary cress is found throughout much of the lowlands of the western United States.