Cardaria draba

 

Botanical Name : Cardaria draba
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Lepidium
Species: L. draba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms:Cochlearia draba, Lepidium draba, Nasturtium draba

Common Names : Lepidium draba L. formerly Cardaria draba,Hoary Pepperwort ,Whitetop, perennial pepper-grass, heart-podded hoary cress, pepperwort,  pepperweed whitetop, hoary cress,  white weed

Habitat : Cardaria draba is native to western Asia and eastern Europe and is an invasive species in North America, introduced by contaminated seeds in the early 1900s.

Description:
Cardaria draba is a perennial herb that reproduces by seeds and by horizontal creeping roots. The stem is stoutish, erect or spreading, 10 to 80 cm tall, branched, covered sparsely with ash-colored soft hairs to heavily covered. The leaves are alternating, simple, and mostly toothed. The basal leaves are 4 to 10 cm, have a slight stem (petiole), and are long and flat, lance-shaped to egg-shaped, with the narrow end attached to the stalk. On the upper part of the stem the leaves are attached directly to the stalk (sessile), are 2 to 6.5 cm long, and are oblong or tapering the point, with broad bases that clasp the stalk. Whitetop has slightly domed flower clusters in which the individual flower stalks grow upward from various points off the branch to approximately the same height (corymb-like). The petals are white, clawed, and 3 to 5 mm long, about twice the length of the sepals.

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Cultivation: Succeeds in a sunny position in most soils.
Propagation : Seed – sow in situ in spring. There is very little need to encourage this plant, it is a rapidly spreading weed in Britain. Division in spring.

 

Edible Uses
Young leaves and shoots – raw in salads or cooked as a potherb. A report says that the young leaves contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide, though does not give any more details. In small quantities this substance is fairly harmless, and has even been recommended as having health benefits, but caution is suggested if you eat these leaves. The pungent leaves are used as a seasoning. The seed is used as a condiment, it is a pepper substitute

Medicinal Uses:
The seeds have been used as a cure for flatulence and food poisoning caused by eating suspect fish.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CADR&photoID=cadr_002_ahp.tif
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitetop
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm
http://www.calipc.org/ip/management/ipcw/pages/detailreport.cfm@usernumber=23&surveynumber=182.php

http://luirig.altervista.org/schedenam/fnam.php?taxon=Cardaria+draba

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cardaria+draba

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