• Hoary Cress Plant 215x150

Category C Weed

Mustard family (Brassicaceae)

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Hoary cress (Cardaria draba)


    • 0.5-2 ft. tall; branched near top; covered with short hairs


      • Alternate, 1-4 in. long, blue-green, oblong to lance-shaped and covered with short hairs; edges (margins) are toothed to smooth

      • Lower leaves have short leaf stems (petioles); bases of upper leaves have lobes that clasp the stem


        • White with 4 petals; occur in clusters that give plant a flat-topped appearance; occur from spring to early-summer

        • Seed pods are oval to heart-shaped; each contain 2 seeds


          • Deep, spreading root system


            • Grows best in disturbed, alkaline soils; often found in pastures, fields, roadsides, rangelands, waste areas and along waterways; known to occur in all Nevada counties

            • Perennial; reproduces through roots and seeds

            • Also know as whitetop; three species occur in Nevada: hoary cress (C. draba) is most common but lens- podded whietop (C. chalapensis) and hairy whiterop (C. pubescens) also occur


              • Dig or pull individual plants for small infestations; remaining roots can produce new plants

              • Frequent tillage or mowing for several years can reduce plant density

              • Apply 2,4-D to actively growing plants prior to bud stage; chlorsulfuron or metsulfuron frombud to early bloom; imazapic from full bloom until necrosis

                • Infestation
                  Hoary Cress Infestation 215x150
                • Mature plant
                  A-African Rue
                • Clasping leaves on stem
                  Hoary Cress Leaves Stem 215x150
                • Seedling
                  Hoary Cress Rosette 215x150
                • Seed pod
                  Hoary Cress SeedPod 215x150
                • MagnifyingGlass