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Bittercress Cardamine

Other plants called Bittercress:

Phonetic Spelling
kar-DA-mih-nee
Description

Bittercress (Cardamine spp.), in the Brassicaceae (mustard) family, are common cool-season weeds, but can persist and spread year round in shaded, moist environments.  Plants form a basal rosette of leaves. The flowers are white and form small, cigar-shaped fruit. Plants are prolific seed producers and seeds are forcefully expelled 3 to 6 feet. Freshly-shed seed have no dormancy. 

Among the numerous varieties, Cardamine pensylvanica or Pennsylvania bitter-cress is an annual that can be found in the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.  Its habitat includes wetlands.  Its lobed leaves are compound and alternate.  You will find one leaf per node along the erect stem.  Its flowers have 4 white petals.  The fruits are dry and will split open when ripe.  

The annual or biennial Cardamine oligosperma grows in western US states.  Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and eastward to the Rocky Mountains are common locations where  it is found in seasonally wet forests and open land.  Flowering is in the form of racemes.  Its numerous, hairy leaves are alternate with 4 to 10  lateral leaflets.  

A perennial, Cardamine pratensis, is not considered to be invasive, as other varieties are classified.  Known as the cuckoo flower, it is abundant in Canada, and the Midwest states of Minnesota, Illinois south to Virginia.  Its foliage is compound and edible.

Propagation is by way of the plant's Dehiscent seed pod, that is a pod that splits open when ripe, disbursing its seed.

Wildlife Value:  Members of the genus Cardamine support the following specialized bee: Andrena (Scaphandrena) arabis.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Plants often harbor whitefly and mites and have been implicated as alternative hosts for some diseases. Seedlings are numerous, small, and are time-consuming to hand remove.  Do not let plants go to seed. Manage bittercress populations around the property to prevent spread. Inspect all new plant materials for infestations of this weed. Bittercress is well managed by available preemergence herbicides but due to its prolific seed production and continuous germination it continues to be a challenging weed.  Powdery mildew, downy mildew and rust are minor issues.  It is listed as an invasive species in some parts of the US including HI and GA.

  

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Muscadine Bed
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weeds#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#native bees#high maintenance#specialized bees#fast growing#aggressive#NC native#frost tolerant#pollinator plant#marshes#perennial weeds#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#bog garden#woodland garden#perennial#butterflies#butterfly#weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weeds#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#native bees#high maintenance#specialized bees#fast growing#aggressive#NC native#frost tolerant#pollinator plant#marshes#perennial weeds#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#bog garden#woodland garden#perennial#butterflies#butterfly#weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cardamine
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Weed
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Temp. to Tropical Mountains
    Wildlife Value:
    Supports specialized bees as well as butterflies and moths.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edibility:
    The foliage of Cardamine pratensis are edible.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are small, cigar-shaped pods.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Plants form a basal rosette of leaves
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Problems:
    Weedy