Dittander

©Philip Precey

Dittander

Scientific name: Lepidium latifolium
Dittander is a herb of coastal saltmarshes and damp ground. Its waxy leaves and long roots help it to survive in this harsh environment. Due to its peppery taste, it has also become a popular garden plant.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 1.5m

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to July

About

Dittander is a scarce, salt-tolerant plant ('halophyte') that is generally found along the edges of coastal saltmarshes and damp ground in South East England and East Anglia. It has also been increasingly introduced to gardens as a culinary and medicinal herb, possibly escaping to some inland locations. It is a member of the cabbage family of plants.

How to identify

Dittander has grey-green, waxy, oval leaves. It displays tiny, white, four-petalled flowers that sit in rounded clusters at the end of branching stems.

Distribution

Mainly found in South East England and East Anglia.

Did you know?

Dittander has a peppery taste, so was used in the preparation of sauces before Horseradish became popular; as a result, it has other common names like 'Pepperwort' and 'Peppergrass'.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many coastal nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.