Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Pennsylvania Bittercress (Cardamine pensylvanica)
- Family: Mustard (Brassicaceae)
- Flowering: March-July.
- Field Marks: This small white-flowered Cardamine differs from similar species by its terminal leaflets which are as large as or larger than the lateral leaflets.
- Habitat: Wet woods, along streams.
- Habit: Biennial or perennial herbs from a thickened rootstock.
- Stems: Erect, smooth or slightly hairy near the base, sometimes branched, up to 15 inches tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound with 5-13 leaflets, smooth, the terminal leaflet as large or larger than the lateral leaflets, up to 1/2 inch long, nearly as broad, all leaflets oblong to oval, without teeth, toothed, or sometimes shallowly lobed.
- Flowers: Several in terminal racemes, white, 1/6 to 1/4 inch across.
- Sepals: 4, green, smooth.
- Petals: 4, white, free from each other.
- Stamens: 6.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Pods slender, cylindrical, ascending, up to 1 1/4 inches long, with a sterile beak about 1/10 inch long; seeds pale brown.
- Notes: The young stems and leaves can be used in salads.
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