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Cardamine hirsuta

Cardamine hirsuta L.

 

Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderBrassicalesMustard, cabbage, caper, papaya, nasturtiums, many others; most produce mustard oil
FamilyBrassicaceaeMustards, cabbages
GenusCardamineBittercress (also called Dentaria)—from the Greek kardamon, an herb with pungent leaves
Specieshirsuta“Hairy”

About plant names...

Hairy bittercress is an introduced species, now generally considered a weed. They exploded into being, seemingly all at once, taking over a good portion of my lawn.

Identification: Plants are 8-12" (20-30 cm) high. Leaves at the base are rounded, in opposing pairs, very close to the ground. Tall stems support a few narrower leaves, and tiny clusters of white flowers. Each flower is less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) around; clusters are about ¼" (8.3 mm) around. Each stem also supports multiple upward-pointing seed pods called siliques, each about ¾-1¼" (1.9-3.2 cm) long and less than ¹/₃₂" (1 mm) in diameter. Pods are a reddish purple color, containing multiple seeds. The pods are “explosively dehiscent,” that is, the dry pods pop apart when touched, launching seeds up to 3' (1 m).

Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed)

Pepperell, MA.

Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed)

Clockwise from top center: opened seed pod, flower cluster, underside and top of basal leaves, upper leaves, seed pods (“siliques”) and flowers.

Edibility: Flowers and leaves are edible, with a hot flavor (as with other cresses); they are usually used as a garnish on salads.

Online References:

Cardamine hirsuta on Missouriplants.com

Cardamine hirsuta at Illinois Wildflowers

Cardamine hirsuta on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Cardamine hirsuta on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Cardamine hirsuta on Wikipedia

Cardamine hirsuta on Turner Photographics' Wildflowers site

Cardamine hirsuta on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Cardamine hirsuta on eFloras

Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed)

4/12/2012 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA

Cardamine hirsuta description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 May 2016.

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Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed)

3/14/2012 · Susan and Raimond’s, Phoenix, MD
≈ 7 × 6" (18 × 15 cm)

Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed)

3/13/2012 · NJ
≈ 9 × 8" (23 × 19 cm)

Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed)

4/13/2012 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed)

3/13/2012 · NJ
≈ 8 × 7" (21 × 17 cm)

Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed)

4/13/2012 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed)

5/9/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 15 × 13" (37 × 32 cm)

Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress, Pepperweed, Shotweed, Snapweed)

4/13/2012 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Range:

About this map...