Hairy Bitter-cress (Cardamine hirsuta)


BACK TO Back To Home Page Back To Wild Flower Index

Family: Cabbage Brassicaceae

Data Table

Widespread and abundant annual; only slightly hairy. Forms a basal rosette of pinnately divided leaves, the lobes of which are rounded. Upright stem carries a few leaves and a head of white flowers, Flower diameter c 2-3.5 mm across. Flowers less than 5 mm with 4 stamens ,with fruiting pods overtopping stem. Flowers throughout year. Height up to 30cm

Habitat : Common in bare dry sunny places, most noticeable in Spring. Can sometimes occur in more moist and shady spots, when liable to be mistaken for Wavy Bittercress at first glance.

A low plant, under 30 cm high.

Stem arises from basal rosette of leaves that have about 5-7 roundish, sometimes stalked, leaflets on each side and a larger one at the end. Stem leaves similar but smaller and fewer, normally no more than 4 per stem, often with narrower leaflets. Usually 4 stamens to a flower (examine several). The similar Wavy Bittercress has 6, and so does the much larger Cuckoo Flower

Other features: Young pods noticeably overtop the unopened flowers. In Wavy B they may not do so at all, or if so then not in such a pronounced and consistent way. Stems usually hairless