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Lamb's Cress Cardamine hirsuta

Description

Hairy bittercress is a winter annual or biennial plant in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family native to Europe and Asia, but also present in North America. It is commonly found in damp or disturbed soil. It has a basal rosette and may form a dense mat.

The bright green leaves generally contain 4 to 8 leaflets arranged alternately along the rachis. The stems of the plant are hairless and the leaves remain green even through winter months. Small white flowers occur in racemes with individuals containing four petals. They appear on wiry stems from early spring until fall. Like many brassicas, hairy bittercress has a dehiscent seed pod which contains seeds that explode out at the slightest touch. Once it is etablsihed in a lawn, it is difficult to eradicate.

Wildlife Value: The plants are food for the larval (caterpillar) stage of a few early butterflies, including (in the United States) spring azure (Celatrina landon) and falcate orange-tip (Anthocharis midea).  Members of the genus Cardamine support the following specialized bee: Andrena (Scaphandrena) arabis.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  It is a favorite plant of aphids.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#weed#edible weed#wildlife plant#native bees#specialized bees#edible garden#larval host plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#weed#edible weed#wildlife plant#native bees#specialized bees#edible garden#larval host plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cardamine
    Species:
    hirsuta
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Temp. & Subtropical N. Hemisphere to Tropical African Mountains
    Edibility:
    It is considered an edible, bitter herb with a similar taste to arugula. The whole plant can be eaten.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Herb
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    hairy bittercress has a dehiscent seed pod which contains seeds that explode out at the slightest touch.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Small white flowers occur in racemes with individuals containing four petals. They appear on wiry stems from early spring until fall
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    The bright green leaves generally contain 4 to 8 leaflets arranged alternately along the rachis.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    stems of the plant are hairless
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Specialized Bees