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







Stem leaf in above photo

Basal leaf in above photo



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 alternate, 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 rare, ranked as an S3 (as of 2021) 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.