Lepidium draba (whitetop)

whitetop hoary cress leaves

Leaf type: Linear (broad to ovate, toothed)
Phyllotaxis: Alternate

Leaf (upper side)

whitetop basal leaves
The basal leaves of whitetop are stalked.
Hoary cress basal leaves in March
Hoary cress basal leaves in March.
whitetop leaves
Whitetop upper leaves in March.
whitetop leaves stem embracing
The upper leaves are stem-embracing (sessile).
whitetop hairy leaveswebp
The leaves of whitetop can be plain or covered with fine hairs.

Habitus & biology

whitetop habitus

Whitetop is a perennial that can reach a height of up to 60 centimetres and spreads by short runners. It flowers from April to July.

Distribution & habitates

Europe, Asia, North Africa and as an introduced species also in other regions (source).

whitetop by the wayside
Whitetop by the wayside.

Lepidium draba grows in meadows, industrial wasteland, on embankments and roadsides.

Whitetop on embankment
Whiteop on an embankment next to a motorway.


Lepidium draba belongs to the cruciferous family (Brassicaceae) and is commonly known as whitetop, hoary cress or Thanet cress.

flowering hoary cress