Lepidium hyssopifolium Desv.

Basalt Peppercress

J. Bot. (Desvaux) 3: 164, 179 (1814) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: endangered (e)

Perennial herb to 50 cm high; stems erect, covered with fine, short hairs. Basal leaves pinnately lobed or toothed; stem leaves linear-lanceolate, 1–4 cm long, 1–2.5 mm wide, toothed or entire, with fine, short hairs, marginal hairs longer. Inflorescence an elongating raceme. Sepals c. 0.8 mm long; petals reduced or absent; stamens 2; stigma sessile. Fruit elliptic to ovate, 2.5–5.0 mm long, 1.5–2.5 mm wide, sometimes hairy, wings narrow, forming small apical notch; pedicels 3–5 mm long, hairy above and below, terete. Flowers mostly summer–autumn.

CVU, EGU, GipP, VVP, WaP, Wim. Also SA, NSW, Tas. Collected from scattered sites on the volcanic plain, but now much reduced from its former range and recorded recently only from e.g. Moorabool, Winchelsea, Bacchus Marsh, Woodend, Trentham. Most recent collections are from disturbed, rather weedy sites. One collection from near Port Fairy is noteworthy for its occurrence in a slightly saline estuary amongst saltmarsh and fringing sedgeland.

Differs from taxa previously included within this species (Lepidium africanum, L. pseudohyssopifolium, L. pseudotasmanicum) in having pedicels hairy on upper and lower surface and in overall cover of plant by fine, short hairs.

There are two forms in Victoria, both rare. The commoner form from inland sites has dense stem, patent stem hairs that are short and conical (length less than three times width) and rhombic-elliptic fruits. This form equates to Lepidium tasmanicum Thell. The form that is represented by the Type specimen of L. hyssopifolium and is known in Victoria only from near Port Fairy (as noted above) has rather sparse, patent and retrorse stem hairs that are mostly slender and acicular (length more than three times width) and orbicular to ovate-elliptic fruits.

Source: Entwisle, T.J. (1996). Brassicaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-11-18
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Brassicales
family Brassicaceae
genus Lepidium
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Lepidium hyssopifolium in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Lepidium hyssopifolium in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory