Cardamine sp.


Sand bittercress (Cardamine parviflora) and Pennsylvania bittercress (Cardamine pennsylvanica) are two native herbaceous annuals in the Brassicaceae. Both have pinnately dissected leaves and are plants found in lawns and other disturbed areas throughout the state. Parviflora has very narrow leaf segments especially the terminal one and pennsylvanica has wider leaf segments. The flowers are in terminal racemes. The perfect flowers have four sepals, four small white petals, and six stamens (four long and two short). The ovary is superior, and the fruit is a terete silique. Two easily overlooked species that are edible. Caterpillars of the butterfly Falcate Orangetip are reported to eat Cardamine parviflora leaves. Plants are out now and I saw one in Panama in late December but tasted it instead of photographing it.