Cardamine pensylvanica (Bitter Cress) - photos and description

Cardamine pensylvanica
15 cm ruler for scale

Cardamine pensylvanica

Cardamine pensylvanica

Cardamine pensylvanica

Cardamine pensylvanica

Cardamine pensylvanica

Cardamine pensylvanica
Bottom of stem in above photo

General: Annual or biennial. Stems erect, solitary, branching above. Bottom of stems pubescent.

Flowers: Flowers racemose, small, white in colour with 4 petals. We measured a flower at 3 mm diameter.

Fruit: Seed pods flat, we measured a pod at 28 mm long by 1 mm wide.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, very deeply pinnate with up to 3 pairs of lateral segments and a larger terminal lobe. Terminal leaflet obovate, often with two side lobes of its own. Leaves glabrous. Leaf highlighted in photo above was measured at 53 mm long (including petiole) and 20 mm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 50 cm tall, we measured plants to 30 cm tall.

Habitat: Wet woodlands, and, along springs and streams in the boreal forest and Cypress Hills.

Abundance: Listed as common by Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan.

Origin: Native.

How to identify this species of Cardamine: Stems mostly pubescent at the base; terminal leaflets obovate (Budd's Flora).

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 28th, edge of a spring, Cypress Hills, about 450 km south west of Regina, SK, and July 7th, wet, mossy black spruce woods, Porcupine Hills, about 450 km northeast of our home in Regina, SK.