Cardamine pratensis (Cuckoo Flower / Marsh Bitter Cress) - photos and description

Cardamine pratensis

Cardamine pratensis

Cardamine pratensis

Cardamine pratensis

Cardamine pratensis

Cardamine pratensis

Cardamine pratensis
Stem leaf in above photo

Cardamine pratensis
Basal leaf in above photo

Cardamine pratensis

Cardamine pratensis

General: Slender plants with solitary, usually erect stems. Plants glabrous.

Flowers: Flowers solitary or in a terminal, crowded raceme; flowers white (also listed as pink). Flowers large for a plant in the Mustard family, petals measured to 7 mm long, flowers to 15 mm in diameter. Sepals lanceolate with a darker green tip, a sepal was measured at 4 mm long by 2 mm wide.

Fruit: Pod linear, flattened, we measured a pod at 20 mm long by 1 mm wide.

Leaves: Stem leaves pinnate with 6 or 7 leaflets, stem leaf highlighted above was 5 cm long (including petiole), leaflets elliptical, a leaflet of a stem leaf was measured at 5 mm long by 2 mm wide. Basal leaves with long petioles, pinnate, leaflets ovate to orbicular, a terminal leaflet of a basal leaf measured at 6 mm long by 5 mm wide. A basal leaf was measured at 4.5 cm long (including petiole).

Height: Budd's Flora lists the height to 50 cm. We measured plants to 29 cm tall.

Habitat: Swamps in the boreal forest.

Abundance: This plant is very rare, ranked as an S2 by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 14th (just beginning to flower) and July 11th (almost done flowering), growing in very wet sphagnum moss, swampy, semi-open woods along township cutline, boreal forest about 425 km northeast of our home in Regina, SK.