Pepper herb

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Pepper herb
Pepper herb (Lepidium latifolium)

Pepper herb ( Lepidium latifolium )

Eurosiden II
Order : Cruciferous (Brassicales)
Family : Cruciferous vegetables (Brassicaceae)
Tribe : Lepidieae
Genre : Cress ( Lepidium )
Type : Pepper herb
Scientific name
Lepidium latifolium

The pepper herb ( Lepidium latifolium ), usually called broad-leaved cress or beach cress , is a species of cress ( Lepidium ) within the cruciferous family (Brassicaceae). Just like garden cress, it can be used in the kitchen. Raw it has the same sharp, peppery taste, only a little more intense than garden cress. The common name "savory" For example, sometimes for the savory ( Satureja hortensis used).

Description and usage

Illustration from Flora Batava , Volume 2, 1807
Section of an inflorescence
Pepper herb ( Lepidium latifolium )

Vegetative characteristics

The appearance of the pepper herb differs more from the other types of cress. They are perennial herbaceous plants , while many other cress species are annual or biennial. It reaches heights of growth of around 100 centimeters and is thus significantly larger than the other cress species. Since it reproduces via runners , it often forms dense groups.

The alternate leaves are undivided. The basal leaves are larger and wider than the stem leaves. The stem leaves are egg-shaped to lanceolate, between 5 and 10 cm long and between 1 and 2 cm wide, depending on the height of the stem. They are bald and have fine, sometimes indistinctly toothed edges.

Generative characteristics

The inflorescence is a rather loosely branched panicle , while the flowers of the other species are arranged in rather compact clusters at the top . Because of this wide, white and fragrant inflorescence, the pepper herb is sometimes used in bouquets . The sepals have a white border, almost from their base to their tip.

The pods are flattened and round or broadly oval in outline.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 24.


The original distribution area included the temperate and meridional zones of Eurasia (Europe to Central Asia , China, India and Mongolia). Around 1900 it was brought to North America , presumably with sugar beet seeds . It is also found as a neophyte in Hawaii, Japan, Australia and Argentina.

The pepper herb is found mainly on the coasts and thus on salty sandy or clay soils such as dunes . In the inland it is in Europe represented only slightly for the same reason. If it does occur, it also prefers saline locations there, but can occasionally also be found along river banks in meadows or at older ruderal sites . It thrives in societies of the associations Agropyro-Rumicion, Senecio fluviatilis or Sisymbrion.

In recent times, the pepper herb has spread rapidly on the edge of motorways and federal highways in southwest and west Germany.


The first publication of Lepidium latifolium was in 1753 by Carl von Linné in Species Plantarum .


  • Henning Haeupler, Thomas Muer: picture atlas of the fern and flowering plants of Germany . Ed .: Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (=  The fern and flowering plants of Germany . Volume 2 ). Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2000, ISBN 3-8001-3364-4 .
  • Wolfgang Adler, Karl Oswald, Raimund Fischer: Excursion flora of Austria . Ed .: Manfred A. Fischer. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart / Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-8001-3461-6 .
  • Christian Heitz: School and excursion flora for Switzerland. Taking into account the border areas. Identification book for wild growing vascular plants . Founded by August Binz. 18th completely revised and expanded edition. Schwabe & Co., Basel 1986, ISBN 3-7965-0832-4 .
  • Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora . With the collaboration of Theo Müller. 6th, revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 1990, ISBN 3-8001-3454-3 .
  • Konrad von Weihe (ed.): Illustrated flora. Germany and neighboring areas. Vascular cryptogams and flowering plants . Founded by August Garcke. 23rd edition. Paul Parey, Berlin / Hamburg 1972, ISBN 3-489-68034-0 .

Individual evidence

  1. Lepidium latifolium L., Broad-leaved cress. In:
  2. a b Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas . 8th edition. Stuttgart, Verlag Eugen Ulmer, 2001. ISBN 3-8001-3131-5
  3. a b Lepidium in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  4. [1]
  5. ^ Bochum Botanical Association: Contributions to the flora of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2013. Yearbook of the Bochumer Botanical Association. Volume 5, 2014, pp. 130–163 ( PDF 6.4 MB)
  6. Carl von Linné: Species Plantarum. Volume 2, Lars Salvius, Stockholm 1753, p. 644 ( digitized versionhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/ IA% 3D ~ MDZ% 3D% 0A ~ SZ% 3D ~ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3D ~ PUR% 3D ).

Web links

Commons : Broad-leaved cress ( Lepidium latifolium )  - album with pictures, videos and audio files