Hoary Cress is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in cropland and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 50cm.
Hoary Cress is so called because it has downy hairs covering its leaves and stem. It is also sometimes called 'Whitetop', describing the appearance of the plant when in flower, as it produces dense clusters of white flowers at a similar level at the top of its stems. Hoary Cress is native to Southern Europe and is believed to have been accidentally introduced to the UK in the early nineteenth century with ship ballast.
Botanic classification and naming: Hoary Cress is a member of the Cabbage (Brassicaceae) family. The genus name
'Lepidium' identifies the plant as a Pepperweed and its species name 'draba' means 'sharp or bitter'.