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Two-leaf Toothwort Cardamine diphylla

Previously known as:

  • Dentaria diphylla
Phonetic Spelling
kar-DA-mih-nee dy-FIL-uh
Description

Common Toothwort is a native perennial found in the rich soils of mesic forests on wooded slopes. 

Division should be attempted when the plant is dormant.  Care should be taken during this process as the rhizomes are easily damaged or broken.  When growing from seed, the seed should be sown immediately after collection.  A moist, shaded seedbed is required.  New seedlings will flower in 3 to 4 years.

A light layer of leaves during the winter months is desirable.  

A host plant for the West Virginia White butterfly.

The leaves and roots can be eaten both raw or cooked.  The roots are crisp with a pungent taste and can be added to salads.  The pungent taste of newly harvested roots will lessen when allowed to ferment for 4 to 5 days.  Clean the roots, cover, and allow fermentation to take place.  The pungent taste will be replaced by a sweet taste.   

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant cannot tolerate deep shade cast by evergreen trees.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#native perennial#NC native#rich soil#forests#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#humidity tolerant#food source hard mast fruit#FACU Piedmont Mountains#audubon#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#native perennial#NC native#rich soil#forests#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#humidity tolerant#food source hard mast fruit#FACU Piedmont Mountains#audubon#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cardamine
    Species:
    diphylla
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Canada and U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, CT, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edibility:
    The roots and leaves can be eaten.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 4 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The 4-5" pods display from May to June. They will appear after the plant has bloomed.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    White or pale pink blooms appear from April to May. Each flower has 4 petals and is located at the end of a stem that rises above the leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are paired, making it appear as a compound leaf.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies