Everything You Need to Know on White Topped Weeds

White topped weeds grow in many US states and have a natural instinct to invade more and more lands as long as the environment is partially suitable for that.

Therefore, you may be wondering what white topped weeds are, how they grow, what they can be used for, and how to get rid of them.

In this Lawn Advisors guide, we’ll discuss that and more, as everything about white topped weeds shall be explained in this guide.

But first let’s explain what white topped weeds are.

What Is Whitetop Weed

Whitetop weed is a perennial creeping broadleaf plant that is known as one of the rapidly spreading weeds in the US, that’s hard to eradicate or even control.

It also goes by the names of heart-podded hoary cress, hoary cardaria, whiteweed, and peppergrass in some US areas.

What Is Whitetop Weed

What Is the Scientific Name for White Top Weed?

Whitetop goes by the scientific name of Lepidium Draba, and Cardaria Draba (L.) Desv.

Those are the scientific names issued by scientists at the United States Ministry of Agriculture.

Whitetop Weed Identification

Whitetop is a perennial weed part of the mustard family, it can grow up to 2 feet tall, and forms a highly extensive root system.

Its lower leaves are colored in blue-greenish, while the lance is shaped and the supper leaves have two lobes clasping the stem of the weed.

The flowers it produces are white with four tiny petals, but it produces many flowers while blooming, creating a large white weed invasion in your garden.

Where Does Whitetop Grow?

Whitetop weeds grow extensively across the western US. It can be found along the roadsides, around irrigation ditches, hay fields, in rangeland meadows, and sub irrigated pastures.

It has the ability to grow on a wide range of soil types, between moderately saline to acidic soils that have only little moisture.

When Does White Topped Weeds Bloom

In April-May, white topped weeds find it best to bloom, most importantly when the ground is too wet and the environment is too hospitable for the weeds to grow.

Additionally, if the conditions are still met and the environment is quite welcoming, a second bloom can happen in late summer early fall as well.

White Topped Weeds are perennial, meaning they will come back every year around the same time, building on the same root system.

When Does White Topped Weeds Bloom

How Long Does White Topped Weeds Grow To

White topped weeds can grow up to 8-20″ tall on an upright stalk with dense clusters of flowers. 

The tall stem helps create hairy leaves that are large lance-shaped, and that’s why you notice that a couple of weed plants can cover large areas in a short period of time, due to their invasive nature.

Here’s a video that can provide you with everything else you need to know about White Topped Weeds in a closer look:

What Is the Use of Whitetop Weed?

White topped weeds can be used in medicine as an antiscorbutic substance that prevents scurvy-related diseases and illness.

Moreover, whitetop weed is used as a bitter tonic, which is used in multiple pharmaceutical products.

Is White Top Weed Edible?

Since white topped weed is a member of the mustard family, then it’s completely edible and some of those who tasted it affirmed it is a delicious edible to say the least.

Moreover, it’s completely harmless when touched, its uses of medicine as we described earlier are handful.

Is Whitetop Invasive?

Oh, it is really invasive. White topped weeds are pretty invasive and can easily colonize areas in less time than you may think.

It prefers moist soil to rapidly expand its colonies, and it has been a prohibited noxious weed in Michigan.

Therefore, keep a closer eye on how invasive whitetop weeds become, and carry out weed control measures as soon as you feel you need to.

Is Whitetop Invasive?

What Is the Proper Whitetop Weed Control

The best approach to control the growth of white topped weeds and NOT allowing them to invade your lawn is by mowing them as early as possible in their growth season when the weed is at flower bud stage, then apply the herbicides after the resprouting when the plant reaches flower bud stage again.

Additionally, you can use a penetrating MSO or silicone surfactant on the plant, as they suit the leaves that are covered with soft white hairs.

What Herbicide Kills White Top?

We advise using Chlorsulfuron and/or Metsulfuron Methyl compounds as they are effective on mustards as well as white topped weeds.

Moreover, you can use Glyphosate and Imazapic formulations on weeds that live in areas near water, as they’re proven more effective in such environments.


White Topped Weeds are invasive, yet edible, and can colonize large areas in little time, yet they are helpful when used in medicine.

Therefore, this guide provided you with everything you need to know about white topped weeds, helping you make up your mind on whether you’d like to have them in your lawn, or not.

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