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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

 Hoary Cress Research

Research Findings, Reports, and Publications for this Project

Photograph of Hoary Cress invading an area of roadside in Wyoming.Hoary cress (Lepidium draba) is a perennial herbaceous weed that has invaded agricultural and natural areas of western North America. Invasions are often composed of dense patches, and it is unclear whether clonal growth via horizontal roots or seedling recruitment is the dominant method of patch expansion. To study the clonal structure of this invasive, we will analyze patches from U.S. populations using AFLPs (a DNA fingerprinting method). Known siblings and clones will also be included to insure sufficient variation for discrimination between clonal and non-clonal plant parts. Knowledge of its primary reproductive mode under field conditions will give us a better understanding of how the species became a successful invader, which may help determine management decisions. 


Contributing Scientist:  John Gaskin (Botanist)

Visit our Hoary Cress Consortium website for more information and numerous sources relating to the noxious weed.
The Hoary Cress Consortium was formed in 2001 and includes representatives and researchers from more than a dozen research facilities worldwide.




Latest Research Findings/Reports

Poster titled Evolutionary biology as a tool towards a more customized biological control strategy of weeds: Hoary cress as a case study.Evolutionary biology as a tool towards a more customized biological control strategy of weeds: Hoary cress as a case study

By: Boris Fumanal, Jean-François Martin, Rouhollah Sobhian, John Gaskin (NPARL Botanist) and Marie-Claude Bon

Download this Poster (PDF: 252KB)


The collar gall weevil Ceutorhynchus assimilis is widely distributed in Eurasia where it colonizes the indigenous weed Cardaria draba and other Brassicaceae, including crops. Within the framework of a biological control program of C. draba, which is considered an invasive weed in North America, Ceutorhynchus assimilis has been targeted as a potential biological control agent.

Last Modified: 1/28/2014