Peppergrass, or Poor Man’s Pepper, is an annual plant that grows from a single taproot. It is in the Brassicaceae (mustard) family and it earned its name for the pepper-like flavour. Interestingly, Pliny the Elder (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD), who was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, wrote about pepperweed plant in Naturalis Historia. About one thousand years before that the Incas were cultivating this plant. Its a hard thing to overcome but can be done.
- Getting rid of peppergrass is tough since each plant produces thousands of seeds and also propagates from root segments.
- Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) is a long-lived herbaceous perennial that is invasive throughout the western United States.
- Peppergrass control can a be achieved by planting herbaceous perennials in rows, using shade trees and applying fabric or plastic mulches.
“Burning is a good way of getting rid of accumulated thatch. Mowing is also useful for breaking up the mass of pepperweed, but it must be combined with herbicides.”