HAIRY BITTERCRESS

Cardamine hirsuta

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

month8feb month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct month8nov

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
stem
stem8round

4th April 2009, Lancaster Canal. Photo: © RWD
Stems mainly straight, with fewer stem leaves than Wavy Bittercress.


4th April 2009, Lancaster Canal. Photo: © RWD
Flowers small, less than 4mm across, in a small bunch atop the stem.


4th April 2009, Lancaster Canal. Photo: © RWD
Basal leaves grossly outnumber stem leaves.


4th April 2009, Lancaster Canal. Photo: © RWD
Grows amidst rocks or walls on bare damp soils. Note mosses signifying damp ground.


4th April 2009, Lancaster Canal. Photo: © RWD
The seed pods are curved, narrow and cylindrical, and unlike those of Wavy Bittercress frequently over-top the flowers. The stamens number four rather than the six of Wavy Bittercress.


4th April 2009, Lancaster Canal. Photo: © RWD
Four white petals.


26th Sept 2008, Greenside, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Basal rosette of rounded pinnate leaves.


26th Sept 2008, Greenside, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Un-like Wavy Bittercress the leaves are sometimes hairy on upper surface.


6th June 2009, Marsden, West Yorks. Photo: © RWD
Stem leaves narrower and pinnate and numbering four or less rather than the five or more of Wavy Bittercress.


6th June 2009, Marsden, West Yorks. Photo: © RWD
Ripened seed pods.


28th April 2011, Salford, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Ripened seed pods, two split open and seeds released. The seeds are arranged similarly to peas in a pod, the slight bulges being visible.


Easily confused with : Wavy Bittercress, but, paradoxically, that can have hairy stems whereas Hairy Bittercress doesn't (but it does have hairy leaves). Also, the seed-pods of Hairy Bittercress usually over-top the flowers, whereas those in Wavy Bittercress are usually lower than the top-most flower. Wavy Bittercress has nominally six stamens whereas Hairy Bittercress has but four. The number of stem leaves also differs: Wavy Bittercress has between four and ten whereas Hairy Bittercress has only one to four stem leaves. Although the leaves of Wavy Bittercress are hairless, those of Hairy Bittercress only might possibly be hairy.

Not to be confused with : Hairy Rockcress, Hairy Greenweed, Hairy Bindweed, Hairy Stonecrop, Hairy Violet, Hairy St John's Wort, Hairy-fruited Broom, Hairy Mock Orange, Hairy Garlic or Hairy Tare, etc [plants with similar names].

Hybridises with : Wavy Bittercress (Cardamine flexuosa) to produce Cardamine × zahlbruckneriana (Cardamine flexuosa × hirsuta) but luckily this is present in but very few locations, and is not present where the above photographs were taken.

Some similarities to : Hairy Rockcress

Flowers over a longer time period than that of Wavy Bittercress, from February to November, and all year in mild winters.

Habitat: bare ground, usually damp, including dunes, or rocks, walls and especially garden beds. Ubiquitous almost, but not quite, throughout the UK.


  Cardamine hirsuta  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Brassicaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cabbage family8Brassicaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Cardamine
Cardamine
(Bitter-cresses)

HAIRY BITTERCRESS

Cardamine hirsuta

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

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