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Virginian peppercress facts and health benefits

Brief information about Virginia pepper
Name: virgin pepper
A scientific name: virgin lepidum
Origin North America, including most of the United States and Mexico, and southern Canada.
Forms Flat, rounded handle, usually slightly wider than the longest, widest in the middle, up to about 4 mm long
Taste Bubble flavor, pepper
Benefits to your health Good for scurvy, diarrhea, dysentery, kidney and liver disease, abdominal pain, worm infections, rheumatic pain, cough and grain cough, diabetes.

Lepidium virginicum, also known as pepper or Virginia pepper algae, is a herbaceous plant belonging to the mustard family (Brassicaceae ⁄ Crucuciferae). The plant is native to North America, including most of the United States and Mexico, Southern Canada and most of Central America. It is growing throughout Europe, parts of Asia, South America and Australia. As an introduced species it can be found elsewhere. The plant is grown as a weed in most crops and can be found along roads, in landscapes and on fallow land. It prefers sunny places with dry soil. Popular generic names of plants: Smaller pepper, pepper, bad pepper, watercress, Virginia pepper, common pepper, Virginia pepper, Virginia pepper, bad pepper, bad pepper, wild pepper, bad pepper, bad pepper.

The name of the genus Lepidium is derived from the Greek word lepis, which in Greek means flake and refers to the shape of the silicone. The name of the species Virginia means from Virginia or Virginia. The factory earned its name because of its peppery taste. Interestingly, Pliny the Elder, Roman writer, naturalist and man of letters, wrote about the pepper plant in the journal Naturalis Historia. About a thousand years earlier, the Incas had cultivated this plant. The plant is harvested in the wild to be used locally as food and medicine. Keep in mind that all parts of the plant taste like pepper.

The facts of a virgin cross

Name Virgin pepper
Scientific name virgin lepidum
Aboriginal residents North America, including most of the United States and Mexico and southern Canada, and most of Central America. It is growing throughout Europe, parts of Asia, South America and Australia.
Common names Small spicy pepper, paprika, poor pepper, paprika salad, paprika, paprika, paprika powder, Bulgarian pepper, bad pepper, bad pepper, bad pepper, Virginia pepper, wild pepper, bad pepper, bad pepper, bad pepper, bad pepper
Name in other languages Albanians: JegezAustralia: Bahamian watercress salad: Wild PepperBrazil : Mastroko, Mastruz, MenstruzCanada: Poor pepper
Catalan : Morritort, Morritort of Virginia-China: On Xing Tsi May (北美独行菜)
Cook Islands : NaunauCroatian: Virginia Coke Cuba: Mastuerzo, sabelección, toston
Czech: Řeřicha virginská, Žerucha virgínska
danish : Narbladet plydsmos, Stor andemadsbregne, Virginsk karse
Dutch : American cruiser, Virginia-Dominican Republic cruiser: Mastuerzo
English : Small chili, grass chili, bad chili, watercress, hot chili, wild chili, watercress, hot chili, hot chili, bad chili, hot chili, hairy chiliEstnisch: Virginia Cressfinnish: Virginiancrassy
English : Linceul de Cress, Cress Sauvage, Lepidi de Virginia, Passage de Virginia, Linceul de CressGermany : Virgin Cress, Virgin Cress, Texas Cress, American CressHaiti: Watercress, Danish watercress, Savannah watercress
Hungarian Virginiai zsázsa, amerikai zsázsa
Icelandic : Herruburst, VirginiuperlaIreland: The lowest need for peppermint is Italian
: Lepidio della Virginia-Jamaica: Wild pepper Japan : Mamegunbaynazuna, マメグンバイナズナ, Koubenazuna (コウベナズナ), mame-gumbai-nazuna
in Latvian : Virdžīnijas cietķērsa
Lithuanian : Virgininė pipirnė
Stockings Sorbianka : Wirgińska krjasa
Maori (Cook Islands) : NaunauMexico: Comida de pajarito, isohuanquil, lentejilla de campo, mexix-quilitl, mixixi, panalillo, put-kan, quelites, rochihuari, xixinda
Netherlands : Virginian herbalists
Niue: MomilyNorwegian: VirginiacarsPeru : Crewson, mancuerno
polish: Virginia Passage, Pieprzyca wirgińska
Portuguese : Mastruco, Mastruz, Mentruz, Mentrusto
Puerto Rico : Crewson, Spring Chilla, masturbate in Russian: Slovak carpenter from Virginia: Zerucha virginská
in Slovenian : Virginia Dragoosha
Spanish: Culantrillo, lentejilla, mancuerno, mastuerzo silvestre, Perejil de la Tierra, cresón, escobilla, sabelección
Sweden : Virginia Crassing, Capmosa, Quastmossa, Mossbreaks, Virginia Crassing, GrencrassingTongan: MomiliTurc: Formerly
Great Britain : The smallest pepper must be super sorbic: Wirginska žerchej
USA : Bird pepper, common pepper, poor pepper, reed pepper, watercress, Virginia-Venezuela: EscobyllaWales: Perylis brook
Ground cover habitat herb
Climate for growth Along railways, on farmland, in meadows, along roads, in gardens, on fallow land, in chaparralas, in sage on the coast, on disturbed areas, on forest edges, on fallow land, on gravel heaps, in clearings, on cliff tops, on rocky openings in dry high forests.
Floor The soil can contain silt, gravel or clay and varies from bare to very fertile.
Dimensions of the installation Height between 10 and 50 centimetres
Carrot The root system consists of a fine, branched tapron.
Tribe. The stems are green or slightly reddish-pink, covered with fine, very short white hairs.
File Kaulin leaves are up to 3½ long and ¾ wide and are generally linear or inverted egg-shaped. They stand at the base (they look like they have winged petioles), and the larger leaves have a few coarse teeth at the end.
Flowering period May-October
Flowers Each flower has 4 white petals and 4 green sepals and a diameter of less than 3 mm (1/8 inch). A typical pattern has different colors at the top. Flowers have no perceptible odor…
Fruit shape and size Seed drills with a length of about 3 mm at different stages of ripening. Each flat handle has a round oval shape with a small neckline at the top.
Sperm reddish brown, slightly compressed or flattened, egg-shaped, winged, approximately 1.5-2 x 0.8 mm in diameter, smooth net shape, pleasantly sticky when moistened, rolls rarely accentuated
Distribution In the seed.
Taste Bubble flavor, pepper
Used plant components Leaves, roots.
Other facts
  • It is used by the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico as a leaf vegetable, which is first planted and harvested with corn.
  • The crushed leaves were used as packaging for insect bites and poison ivy.

Description of the installation

Native pepper is an annual or biennial herbaceous plant that usually grows between 10 and 50 centimeters high. The plant grows along railways, in fields, meadows, verges, lawns, orchards, fallow lands, chapels, sage bushes on the coast, disturbed areas, forest edges, fallow lands, gravel heaps, clearings, rocky outcrops and rocky openings in high dry forests. The soil must be loamy, gravelly or clayey and vary from bare to very fertile. The root system consists of thin, branched stems. The stems are green or slightly reddish-pink, covered with fine, very short white hairs. The upper part of the stem branches out.


The leaves are located in a basal cavity and alternate in the stem. The basal leaves have a long stem, a needle-shaped spatula, which wilts quickly. Length approx. 4-9 cm and width 0.7-1.5 cm, naked from above, sawn from above and petiole visible from below, petiole visible from below approx. 0.5-3.5 cm. The lower leaves are irregularly serrated or pinnate, 10-50 mm long, up to 3-9 mm wide, wider above the middle, and narrower at the base towards the stem. Leaves generally become more linear, less toothed and stalk shaped as they climb up the stem. Surfaces are the smallest hairs. The hairs on the stem and leaves are cylindrical and usually curved.


In the upper part of the plant and at the ends of the branched stems, which emerge from the sinuses of the upper leaves, there are elongated racemes with open flowers, which are narrowly rounded at the ends and fruit. The flowers are small, less than 1/8 inch in size, with 4 white petals, interspersed with 4 elliptical elliptical sepals, light green with a fine, snow-white edge and a few hairs on the outside. The petals are about twice as long as the sepals, but sometimes there are no petals at all. There are 2 stamens with yellow tips in the middle and a white spine at the end of the green ovary. The flower stems are finely hairy, the hairs are cylindrical and generally curved. Flowering usually takes place between May and October.


The fertile flowers are followed by a flat, rounded pod, usually slightly wider than the longest, widest in the middle, up to 4 mm long, with a small neckline at the end. It dries to a brown skin and splits in the middle when ripe.

Each side of the pod contains a seed. In the seed there are a few leaves (cotyledons), which are parallel to each other but perpendicular to the germ, as can be seen in the cross-section.

Traditional uses and benefits of Virginia watercress

  • It is used to treat vitamin C deficiency, pain, diabetes mellitus, blisters, colic in infants as a decongestant, anti-asthmatic, antituberculosis, cardiotone, and as a diuretic.
  • North American Indians use it to treat poison ivy and scurvy.
  • In Mexico, it is also used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, kidney and liver disorders, abdominal pain and worm infections.
  • Wild pepper leaves are nutritious and generally detoxifying. They have been used for the treatment of vitamin C deficiency and diabetes and for the expulsion of intestinal worms.
  • The herb is also a diuretic and is useful for relieving rheumatic pain.
  • The North American Indians used a freshly crushed plant or tea leaf to treat poisonous ivy rash and scurvy.
  • During the processing of the Krupps, a bundle of leaves was placed on the chest.
  • The seed is an anti-mathematical, anti-tuberculosis, cardiotonic and diuretic agent.
  • It is used to treat cough and asthma with excessive sputum, edema, oliguria and fluid accumulation in the chest.
  • A cotton swab of bruised roots was used to remove the bubbles.
  • The root is used to treat excess cataracts in the respiratory tract.
  • The seeds were used for the treatment of coughs and grains.
  • Crushed roots were used to cause wounds and blisters.

Kitchen use

  • Almost all parts of the plant are edible.
  • The leaves are eaten raw or cooked and are a source of vitamin C.
  • The seeds are eaten raw, used as spices or as a substitute for pepper.
  • The young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.
  • The leaves are a rich source of vitamin C and have a spicy watercress taste.
  • Cut into thin slices and added to salads, used as a side dish or cooked as a green vegetable.
  • Immature seeds have a pleasantly pungent taste and can be eaten raw or used as a spice in soups and stews.
  • The seeds are a substitute for pepper.
  • The young leaves can be used as sorbet, honeycomb or as raw leaves, for example in salads.
  • The young pods can be used as a substitute for black pepper.
  • The flowers can be thrown into the salad and the roots.
  • The whole plant can be put in the food processor with turmeric, vinegar, miso, garlic and salt to make wild mustard.
  • Collect the roots, wash them, crush them and add vinegar and salt to replace the horseradish.

Prevention and control

In view of changing regulations on the (de-)registration of pesticides, when considering the use of chemical pesticides, you should consult your national list of registered pesticides or the competent authority to determine which products are legally permitted in your country. Pesticides must always be used legally and in accordance with product labelling.


Information about L. virginicum and its effects is publicly available on the Internet. A few examples: Information for shepherds in Mexico; an illustrated database of foreign plants in South Korea. A species profile is also available in the Global Invasive Species Database.


L. Virgin is resistant to paraquat. Richardson and Zandstra reported the following herbicides and their effectiveness (2009): Flumioxazine (96%), flumioxazine with pendimetalin (88%), sulfentrazone with pendimetalin (86%), isoxaben with pendimetalin (68%), oxyluorophen with pendimetalin (68%) and simazine with pendimetalin (53%).

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