Garden cress (Lepidium sativum
L.) is an important indigenous medicinal plant which is used in various systems of medicines. The presence of genetic variability in the base population is pre-requisite for designing an effective breeding programme for any crop improvement work. Hence, thirty two garden cress genotypes were tested to investigate genetic variability and association among the characters using randomized complete block design at Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research Station, Anand Agricultural University, Anand during Rabi
season of the year 2013-14. The analysis of variance revealed significant differences among the genotypes for all the characters, indicating the presence of great deal of genetic variability for different traits. The moderately high estimates of GCV were observed for leaf width and seed yield per plant. The estimates of genetic advance as per cent of mean was moderate to high, coupled with high heritability for plant height, number of secondary branches per plant, leaf length, leaf width, days to 50 per cent flowering and seed yield per plant. Seed yield per plant showed significant and positive association with plant height, plant spread, number of primary branches per plant, number of secondary branches per plant, terminal raceme length, test weight and oil content at genotypic as well as phenotypic levels. The characters viz.,
test weight, number of secondary branches per plant and terminal raceme length were very high positive direct effects on seed yield per plant. The results showed that the characters which are most important for correlation studies are also proved important by path analysis. Thus, correlation and path analysis study should be considered together for rapid improvement of seed yield in garden cress.