WAVY BITTERCRESS

Cardamine flexuosa

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

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

7th April 2007, Marsden, West Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
A straggly plant with a basal rosette of pinnate leaves and many stem leaves.


22nd April 2008, Sabden, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
The stems are not straight but zig-zag and wavy and have many pinnate stem leaves.


12th April 2009, Authors Garden, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
The stems are hairy un-like those of Hairy Bittercress.


22nd April 2008, Sabden, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are white, very small, between 3mm and 4mm across and with four petals. The seed pods long and cylindrical and curved.


22nd April 2008, Sabden, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
Un-like Hairy Bittercress which has but four stamens, this has nominally six stamens.


12th April 2009, Authors Garden, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
Stem leaves pinnate, narrow and with few teeth.


12th April 2009, Authors Garden, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
Petals splayed outwards, nominally six stamens with cream coloured pollen.


12th April 2009, Authors Garden, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
Snow-white petals.


19th April 2007, Canalside, Chirk, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Stems hairy and zig-zag with stem leaves numbering greater than four.


7th April 2007, Marsden, West Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
The stems of Wavy Bittercress are, paradoxically, hairy unlike those of Hairy Bittercress which are not! Basal leaves pinnate, but much more rounded than upper stem leaves.


Easily confused with : Hairy Bittercress, but that has non-hairy stems, whereas Wavy Bittercress has hairy stems! Also, the seed-pods of Hairy Bittercress usually over-top the flowers, whereas in Wavy Bittercress the pods 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.

No relation to : Wavy St John's Wort nor to Wavyleaf Sea-Lavender [plants with similar names].

Hybridises with :

  • Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) to produce Cardamine × zahlbruckneriana (Cardamine flexuosa × hirsuta)
  • Cuckoo Flower (Cardamine pratensis) to produce Cardamine × fringsii (Cardamine pratensis × flexuosa)
but luckily both of these are present in but very few locations, and are not present where the above photographs were taken.

Wavy Bittercress is very weedy. if you have it in your garden, you will like as not never get rid of it for good. It favours damp and disturbed ground in the shade. Not averse to mud, marshes or stream-sides and mountains. Almost, but not quite, ubiquitous throughout the UK.


  Cardamine flexuosa  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Brassicaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cabbage family8Brassicaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Cardamine
Cardamine
(Bitter-cresses)

WAVY BITTERCRESS

Cardamine flexuosa

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

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