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Hairy Bittercress, Hoary Bittercress - Cardamine hirsuta


Family: Brassicaceae - Mustard family Genus Common Name: Bittercress Native Status: IntroducedDicot Annual Herb
Cardamine hirsuta - Hairy Bittercress, Hoary Bittercress. Hairy Bittercress is a weedy plant of the Mustard family, introduced from Europe and Asia. Frequently found in moist fields, yards, and roadsides. It is one of the earliest bloomers, frequently blooming in January or February. The foliage is edible.

Found in:
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV

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Cardamine hirsuta

Distribution of Cardamine hirsuta in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 16 Aug 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2012-February-04Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Cardamine hirsuta blossoms have four petals and usually four stamens, but sometimes as few as two or as many as 6. I find it to be unusual to catch the blossoms open.
Cardamine hirsuta

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2012-February-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Cardamine hirsuta has an occasionally branched stem standing up to about 12 above the dense cluster of basal leaves. This basal rosette persists through anthesis.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cardamine hirsuta

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2012-February-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The siliques (seedpods) are narrow and elongated.
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Cardamine hirsuta

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2012-February-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Note that the leaflets on the basal leaves are not opposite, although they are close. The few stem (caudal) leaves on the plant are alternating as well.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cardamine hirsuta

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2012-February-04Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
I was not able to see the hairs on the leaves without magnification. The large, terminal leaflet in this photo is less than 1/2 across.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cardamine hirsuta

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer