Slickspot peppergrass (Lepidium papilliferum) is currently proposed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The plant is undergoing a review process to determine if it will be listed for protection.
Slickspot peppergrass ranges from 4 to 12 inches in height, and has many small white flowers that resemble the garden flower sweet alyssum. The plant typically grows in “slickspots,” which are small areas within larger sagebrush habitat. Slickspot peppergrass is found only in southwest Idaho and includes: Ada, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Twin Falls Counties.
In October 1999, Slickspot peppergrass was listed as a candidate species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and had been petitioned for listing under the ESA. In order to conserve the plant and preclude the need for a federal listing, a number of private, state, and federal entities developed a Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA). In January 2004, the USFWS found that a listing was not warranted based on the extent of the plants range and abundance. The CCA for slickspot peppergrass can be downloaded at the following link (Candidate Conservation Agreement for Slickspot Peppergrass).
The State of Idaho commented on the USFWS's proposed rule for designating critical habitat for slickspot peppergrass. Idaho’s comments can be read below (State of Idaho’s Comments; Designation of Critical Habitat for Slickspot Peppergrass).
Photos: Sheri Hagwood, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database