Desert Alyssum (Lepedium fremontii)

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This page last updated on 03/30/2018
(Fig. 01)

Picture Notes The pictures in (Figs. 01 & 02) were taken along a hike in the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. For more on this hike and location go to ...  Tufa Beds Trails (TUSK) - Trip Notes for 03/28/2018.
Description: Desert Alyssum (Lepedium fremontii), a.k.a. Fremont's peppergrass, desert peppergrass, and desert pepperweed, is a one to two foot perennial that likes the conditions native to the Mojave Desert. It needs perfect drainage and full sun. It has great masses of small, four-parted white flowers. The individual white-petaled, yellow-centered flowers of lepidium fremontii are tiny, about 1/4 inch in diameter, but they form dense, spherical or elongated clusters, on a shrub-like plant which is unremarkable for much of the year when not in bloom but quite distinctive in spring and early summer. Flowers are formed of four obovate, yellowish-green sepals and four larger, white, clawed, spatula-shaped petals, non-overlapping. All plant parts are hairless. Stems and leaves are greyish-green in color; leaves grow all along the stem, though not at the base. Their range extends from the Mojave Desert northwards across most of Nevada, up to 6,500 feet elevation. Plants branch profusely, generally staying quite close to the ground but reaching heights of 3 feet in favorable locations. They bloom from March to June.

(Fig. 02)