Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Spring Cress (Cardamine bulbosa)
- Family: Mustard (Brassicaceae)
- Flowering: March-June.
- Field Marks: This is the only bittercress with large
flowers and untoothed or merely toothed, not deeply divided
- Habitat: Low woods, wet meadows, along streams,
- Habit: Perennial herbs with short, thick tubers.
- Stems: Erect, usually unbranched, smooth, up to 15
- Leaves: Of 2 kinds, the basal oblong to ovate,
usually heart-shaped at base, on long leaf stalks, the leaves of
the stem alternate, simple, ovate to lanceolate, pointed at the
tip, tapering to the base, without teeth or with sparse teeth,
smooth, up to 2 inches long, usually without leaf stalks.
- Flowers: Several in terminal racemes, white, with
- Sepals: 4, green, smooth.
- Petals: 4, white, free from each other, 1/2-2/3 inch
- Stamens: 6.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Pods linear, very slender, up to 1 inch long,
with a sterile beak up to 1/4 inch long; seeds dark brown, about
1/10 inch long.
- Notes: The tuber of this species can be used as a
substitute for horseradish. The young stems and leaves can be
used fresh in salads.
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