Information on Smith's Pepperwort

Common Name: Smith's Pepperwort
Scientific Name: Lepidium heterophyllum
Irish Name: Piobar an duine bhoicht
Family Group: Brassicaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Smith's Pepperwort is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


Found on dry waste places and below hedgerows, this is a perennial wildflower which could be easily overlooked.  Downy and greyish-green in colour, it stands up to 40cm tall and bears little 4-petalled white flowers (2-3mm across) in very crowded clusters on stems which are clasped by arrow-shaped leaves.  The petals are widely separated and the flowers have violet-coloured anthers.  They bloom from May to August.  The seeds are oblong, the upper part consisting of a flattened wing and there is a projecting style at the top of each pod.  This is a native plant and it belongs to the family Brassicaceae.

I found this plant first at Tacumshane Lake, Co Wexford in 2008 and I photographed it there and in Dalkey, Co Dublin in 2008.  The identification of this plant was kindly confirmed by Dr Colin Kelleher MSc PhD of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Pepperwort, Smith's
Pepperwort, Smith's

Piobar an duine bhoicht or poor man's pepper, I have read that the leaves can be eaten and taste of pepper but cannot recommend it as I never tried it myself.