Scientific Name: Cardamine hirsuta

Common Name: hairy bittercress

Habit: This winter annual flowers from late winter into spring. Sometimes, it can also be a summer annual.

Leaves: Pinnate leaves are in basal rosettes and are formed from 2 to 4 pairs of leaflets arranged alternately along the central leaf stem. The leaf segments are round to wedge shaped, with hairy lower petioles near the base. Upper surface of leaves are also hairy. Has a large terminal leaf.

Identifying Characteristics: The plant grows erect, reaching 12 inches in height with a taproot. Cotyledons are round, hairy, and occur on petioles. It can be often confused with Calepina, but calepina does not have the rounded leaflets.

Flower Seed Head: White flowers occur in dense clusters at the end of flowering stems. Individual flowers are 2 to 3 mm long, and have 4 petals.

Seed Fruit: Seeds form in a flattened capsule 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches in length. When disturbed, the capsules can expel the seeds, which can travel up to 10 feet away.

Where Found: Roadsides, turf, gardens, disturbed areas, and fields throughout the state.

  • Life cycle: winter annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Brassicaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate;

  • Leaf shape: oval; round; heart;

  • Leaf margin: lobed;

  • Stem hairs: has hairs;

  • Ochrea: Not Present;

  • Flower color: white;

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody;

  • Stem: round or oval;

  • Leaf structure: pinnate;

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs;

  • Root structure: taproot;

  • Flower symmetry: not symmetrical; disymmetry; bilateral symmetry; radial symmetry;

  • Flower diameter: pencil;

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf;