Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

Hairy bittercressHairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) grows in many regions of North America — as an import from Europe.  It is most evident during late winter and early spring months.

Here’s an example of the leaves which grow at the base of the plant.

Hairy bittercressAfter the flower stalk grows up from the center of Hairy bittercress, the leaves along the flower stalk look a bit different.

Hairy bittercressThe flower is very small — with four sepals, four white petals and four stamens.

Hairy bittercressOnce the flower has been fertilized, the long thin seed pods develop their tiny seeds.  The seed pods split open, with the two sides of the pod curling away and releasing the golden-colored seeds.

Hairy bittercress

Watch this video to learn more about Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) including the name of its special type of seed pod, why it’s called “hairy” bittercress, and why most gardeners dislike this plant.

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(Here’s the same video as posted on YouTube.)

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2 Responses to Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

  1. Emily says:

    Is there any way to get rid of hairy bittercress?

    • Angelyn says:

      I know that it is edible and I have eaten it as part of a wild salad.

      I usually pull up as many plants as I can before they go to seed. This minimizes how many new plants appear in the next season.

      I guess you could use some kind of chemical poison to try to remove the plant. However, I doubt that you’d be completely successful since it’s a hardy plant and new seeds would arrive from other plants in the area.

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