Cardamine hirsuta L. - Hairy Bittercress

Cardamine hirsuta plant

Family - Brassicaceae

Stems - Glabrous, green or sometimes purplish in strong sun, to +40cm tall, terete, from a taproot, typically multiple from the base, erect, herbaceous, typically simple.

Leaves - No info. yet.

Cardamine hirsuta leaves

Cardamine hirsuta petioleBase of petiole.

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Flowers - No info. yet.

Cardamine hirsuta flowers

Cardamine hirsuta calyxCalyx.

Cardamine hirsuta fruitsInfructescence.

Flowering - March - April.

Habitat - Waste ground, disturbed sites, roadsides, lawns, fields, railroads.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This introduced species can be found scattered in Missouri and the plant is becoming much more common.
Many members of the genus Cardamine can be hard to distinguish in the field. C. hirsuta can be identified by its many basal leaves, glabrous stems, and basal leaf petioles - which have hirsute hairs at the base. The basal leaves of this species dry and wilt as the plant matures so it is best identified while young.
C. hirsuta can flower when quite small. The picture below shows a tiny plant typical of how the species looks in an area that gets mowed or has poor soil.

Cardamine hirsuta plant

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 3-10-03.


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