bushy peppercress, narrow-leaved cress
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website. This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants.
Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – an interim threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
- Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017 . 2018. Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Department of Conservation. Source: NZTCS and licensed by DOC for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
2017 | Not Threatened | Qualifiers: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened | Qualifiers: SO
2004 | Data Deficient
Uncertain. Some populations may be indigenous while others are almost certainly introduced. Definitely indigenous to Australia. In New Zealand known from one site in the North Island (Motuihe Island), and throughout the South, Stewart and main Chatham Islands.
A pepper-cress of primarily coastal habitats where it may grow in turf, on cliff faces, in sand, along stream banks or boulder field. It has also been collected as a roadside weed well inland in parts of the South Island.
Perennial herb with stout, woody tap root. All parts smell strongly of cress when bruised. Stems erect to decumbent 20-45 cm tall, branches leaf-opposed, spreading, ridged, usually covered in short, back-ward pointing hairs. Basal leaves withering at fruiting, narrow oblanceolate, pinnate, 6-12 × 1.5-2.5 cm, hairless or sparsely bristly, margins with triangular or 2-lobed teeth, pinnae 5-8 pairs, toothed, especially toward apices. Stem leaves becoming simple, bristly, margins with small triangular or 2-lobed teeth, middle leaves narrow-oblanceolate, toothed 1.5-3 × 0.5-1.5 cm, upper leaves narrow-oblong, toothed or 3-fid at apex, 5-15 × 2-4 mm. Inflorescences in racemes 5-10 cm long, stems and flower stalks bristly hairy, always held above surrounding foliage, and never leaf-opposed. Sepals > petals, purplish with toothed margins, petals white < sepals. Stamens 2. Seed brown, narrow-ovoid, not winged, c.1.5 mm long.
Distinguished from other indigenous Lepidium species (except L. naufragorum, and the Snares Island form of L. oleraceum) by having 2 instead of 4 stamens. From other naturalised species it is distinguished by fruit size, shape, and by upper leaves possessing small, fleshy, marginal teeth which are often paired from a common base. Confused with the native L. flexicaule which has 4 stamens, and the inflorescences are leaf-opposed, and so always buried within foliage of fruiting stems.
Flowers can be present throughout the year
Fruit can be present throughout the year
Mucilaginous seeds are dispersed by attachment and possibly wind and water (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed. Inclined to become an aggressive weed in cultivation.
Seems to be represented in New Zealand by indigenous and naturalised populations. In indigenous coastal habitats remote from human settlements, it is generally scarce, and found where many of threats known to affect other indigenous Lepidium species are active. It does tolerate more stress than other indigenous Lepidium species. In other parts of the country the species is very weedy, and like many of the other introduced Lepidium species, common. It may well be that we do have truly indigenous populations but some method is needed to discriminate these from introduced populations.
lepidium: Scale-shaped (pods)
desvauxii: After Desvaux
Fact sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange for NZPCN (1 June 2013)
References and further reading
Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Lepidium desvauxii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/lepidium-desvauxii/ (Date website was queried)