Swinecress, Lesser

Information on Lesser Swinecress

Common Name: Lesser Swinecress
Scientific Name: Lepidium didymum
Irish Name: Cladhthach mhín
Family Group: Brassicaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Lesser Swinecress could sometimes be confused with:


This is a semi-erect little wildflower which has quite a pungent smell. Growing low – barely reaching 3 or 4 cm high – its much-branched, slightly hairy, stems lie along the ground bearing feathery leaves and racemes of really tiny white flowers. The four sepals of the miniscule flowers (1 mm across) are longer than the four petals which are often absent. The alternate, finely-divided, pinnate leaves have narrow segments and feathery lobes. The seeds are small, kidney-shaped and smooth. This is a plant of bare, cultivated and waste ground and tends to be found in the southern half of Ireland, near to the coast. An annual or biennial, its tiny flowers are visible from June to September. It was probably introduced into the country and belongs to the Brassicaceae family.   

I came across this little plant in Dalkey, Co Dublin in June 2010 when I also photographed it. I am very grateful to Dr Declan Doogue, BSBI Vice-county Recorder, Co Kildare, for confirming my identification.

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

This plant was formerly known as Coronopus didymus and in Colgan's Flora of the County Dublin, it was first recorded in 1866 'At the foot of walls and by roadsides near Dublin'.  It was also found 'sparingly at Bullock Harbour (in) 1902'.

Swinecress, Lesser
Swinecress, Lesser
Swinecress, Lesser
Swinecress, Lesser