Family: Mustard - Brassicaceae

CARDAMINE BITTER-CRESS

Annual to perennial herb, from taproots, fibrous roots, or tuber-like rhizomes; hairs 0 or simple. Leaf: alternate, opposite, or whorled; entire to palmately, pinnately lobed, or compound; cauline leaves petioled or 0, not lobed at base [lobed]. Inflorescence: elongated, bracts generally 0. Flower: sepals erect (spreading), bases sac-like or not; petals white, pink, purple, or violet. Fruit: silique, linear, flat parallel to septum, dehiscent, unsegmented; valves generally coiling when dehiscent; placental margins flattened. Seed: (4)10–80, in 1 row, wingless.
± 200 species: temperate, worldwide. (Greek: for cress) Some North American species (e.g., Cardamine californica, Cardamine nuttallii, Cardamine pachystigma) highly variable, more study needed; species treated conservatively here. Cardamine flexuosa With. a waif in gardens, nurseries.

Unabridged note: Some North American species (e.g., Cardamine californica, Cardamine nuttallii, Cardamine pachystigma) highly variable and numerous minor variants were recognized as varieties. C ritical studies of these complexes reveal that only a fraction of the overall continuous variation was formally recognized. Without detailed molecular and cytological studies, a broader sp. concept is adopted herein.

[Jepson2012]


Local Species;

  1. Cardamine angulata - angled bitter-cress [E-flora][PCBC]
  2. Cardamine bellidifolia - alpine bitter-cress [E-flora][PCBC]
  3. Cardamine breweri - Brewer's bitter-cress [E-flora][PCBC]
  4. Cardamine hirsuta - hairy bitter-cress [E-flora]
  5. Cardamine nuttallii - Slender toothwort [E-flora][PCBC][TSFTK]
  6. Cardamine occidentalis - Western Bitter-cress [E-flora][PCBC]
  7. Cardamine occulta - wood bitter-cress [E-flora]
  8. Cardamine oligosperma - little western bitter-cress [E-flora][PCBC]
  9. Cardamine parviflora - small-flowered bitter-cress [E-flora]
  10. Cardamine pensylvanica - Pennsylvanian bitter-cress [E-flora][PCBC]
  11. Cardamine pratensis - Cuckoo-flower [E-flora][PCBC]
  12. Cardamine umbellata - umbel bitter-cress [E-flora][PCBC]

Angled Bitter-Cress - Cardamine angulata

[IFBC-E-flora4]

[E-flora4]2013

" Cardamine angulata, Conocephalum conicum, and Polypodium glycyrrhiza had anti-HSV-1 activity [20]."[ModPhyt]

Identification

This is a Blue-Listed species in B.C. [E-flora]

[IFBC-E-flora4]

Alpine bitter-cress - Cardamine bellidifolia

Family: Brassicaceae- Mustard Family [E-flora4]

[E-flora4]2013

SUBTAXA PRESENT IN BC
  • Cardamine bellidifolia var. bellidifolia [E-flora4]

Identification

[IFBC-E-flora]

Brewer's bitter-cress - Cardamine breweri

[E-flora]2013

Identification

Origin Status:

Native [E-flora]

Two varieties occur in BC:

1. Terminal lobes of lower stem leaves heart-shaped at base..................var. orbicularis (Greene) Detl.

1. Terminal lobes of lower stem leaves cuneate or rounded at base....................... var. breweri [IFBC-E-flora]

[IFBC-E-flora]

[E-flora]

 

Hairy Bitter-cress - Cardamine hirsuta

Seed "Oil, % on dry wt: 25", "Mass of 1,000, g: 0.1"[LLCEOPS]

Identification

Food Use

Leaves & Flowers: "Leaves and flowers eaten raw or cooked, mainly used as a garnish or flavouring in salads etc., but are also sometimes used as a potherb" [EMNMPV.7]
[IFBC-E-flora3]

Western Bitter-Cress - Cardamine occidentalis

Family: Brassicaceae - Mustard Family

[E-flora3]2013


Identification

Synonyms

[IFBC-E-flora]

Cardamine nuttallii - Slender toothwort

Synonyms

  • Cardamine pulcherrima Greene [ThePlantLIst.org] 2/3 Confidence, Accessed Feb 13, 2014. [E-flora]
  • Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii [E-flora]
  • Cardamine nuttallii var. pulcherrima (Greene) Taylor & MacBryde [E-flora]
  • Dentaria tenella Pursh [E-flora]
  • Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima (Greene) Detling [E-flora]
[E-flora]2013

Identification

Origin Status: Native [E-flora]

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant, submontane to montane, Pacific North American forb; ecologically comparable to C. breweri. Occurs in maritime to hypermaritime cool mesothermal climates on very moist to wet, nitrogen-rich soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Sporadic in closed-canopy forests on water-receiving sites; occasional in depressions on water-collecting sites with groundwater table at the ground surface. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder or Mull humus forms.

Cardamine occulta -

wood bitter-cress

Needs Drawing

Status: Exotic [E-flora]1

[E-flora]2013

[IFBC-E-flora]

Cardamine Oligosperma - Few-seeded Bitter-cress

Synonyms

  • Cardamine oligosperma sensu lato [E-flora]
  • Cardamine oligosperma var. oligosperma Nutt. [E-flora]

[E-flora]2013

Identification

  • Origin Status: Native [E-flora]
  • General: Annual or biennial (var. oligosperma) or perennial (var. kamtschatica) herb from a taproot; stems erect to ascending, one or more, freely branched, 10-50 cm tall, hairs short or lacking. [IFBC-E-flora]
  • Leaves: Basal leaves forming a rosette; stem leaves similar, pinnate, sparsely stiff-hairy to hairy-fringed to almost glabrous, lateral lobes (2) 3-10, shortly-stalked to stalked, oblanceolate to egg-shaped, entire or shallowly 2 to several times round-toothed or lobed, 3-20 mm long, the terminal leaflet usually larger, to 3 cm long.[IFBC-E-flora]
  • Flowers: Inflorescence an elongate racemes, more or less umbel-like, 3-10 cm long, generally lacking bracts; flower stalks erect to ascending, 5-20 mm long; petals white, 2-4 mm long; sepals 1-2 mm long. [IFBC-E-flora]
  • Fruits: Siliques, erect, 1.5-2.5 cm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, glabrous to sparsely hairy; styles less than 0.5 mm long; seeds 15-22 (24), 1.5-2 mm long, oblong-oval, narrowly wing-margined. [IFBC-E-flora]
Notes:

Two rather weak varieties occur in BC.

1. Racemes more or less umbel-like, the central axis 1-2 cm long; plants of the upper montane to alpine zones...................... var. kamtschatica (Regel) Detling

1. Racemes more elongate, the central axis greater than 3 cm long; plants of the lowland and lower montane zones............................ var. oligosperma[IFBC-E-flora]

USDA Flower Colour: White
USDA Blooming Period: Early Spring
USDA Fruit/Seed characteristics:

Colour: Black
Present from Spring to Summer [USDA-E-flora]

Habitat / Range: Wet to mesic streamsides, ditches, waste places, roadsides, meadows, gravelly slopes and open woods in the lowland to alpine zones; var. oligosperma - common in S BC, less frequent northward, var. kamtschatica - frequent in coastal and N BC; var. oligosperma - S to MT and CA, var. kamtschatica - amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT, E to AB and S to OR; E. Asia. [IFBC-E-flora]

Edible Uses

  • Leaves - raw or cooked and used as a vegetable[172, 183]. [PFAF]

Medicinal Uses

  • Plant: Carminative and digestive[172]. [PFAF]

References

  1. [Duke]
  2. [E-flora] http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Cardamine oligosperma&redblue=Both&lifeform=7 In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2014. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 11/30/2014 10:41:41 AM ]
    • [IFBC-E-flora] Illustrated Flora of B.C., Douglas, G.W., G.B. Straley, D.V. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, Volume 1-8, .C. Ministry. Environment, Lands and Parks and B.C. Ministry of Forests. Victoria, 1998-2002. Publication
    • [USDA-E-flora] U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Database. http://plants.usda.gov .
  3. [PFAF]
  4. [UMD-Eth]

[IFBC-E-flora-5]

Cardamine parviflora - Small-flowered bitter-cress

 

[E-flora-5]2013

  • Origin Status: Native [E-flora-5]
  • General: Annual or biennial herb from a taproot; stems usually solitary, 10-30 cm tall, simple or branched, glabrous. [IFBC-E-flora-5]
  • Leaves: Basal leaves pinnate, terminal leaflet linear-oblong to oblanceolate; stem leaves with 3-6 pairs of leaflets, linear or narrowly oblanceolate, not over 2 mm wide, entire. [IFBC-E-flora-5]
  • Fruits: Siliques, ascending, 1-3 cm long; styles 0.5-1.5 mm long.[IFBC-E-flora-5]

[IFBC-E-flora]

Cardamine pensylvanica - Pennsylvanian bitter-cress

[E-flora]2013

Identification

  • Origin Status: Native [E-flora]
  • General: Biennial or annual herb from a taproot, also some fibrous roots from the lower nodes; stems erect to ascending, one or more, freely branched, 10-40 cm tall, usually stiff-hairy at the base. [IFBC-E-flora]
  • Leaves: Basal and stem leaves pinnate, generally glabrous, lateral lobes (2) 4-10, shortly-stalked to stalked; basal leaves not rosetted, oblanceolate to egg-shaped, entire or shallowly lobed, 3-15 cm long, the terminal leaflet usually largest, up to 2 cm long; stem leaves linear or lanceolate to linear-oblanceolate. [IFBC-E-flora]
  • Flowers: Inflorescence an elongated racemes, more or less umbel-like, 3-10 cm long, usually lacking bracts; flower stalks ascending, 5-10 mm long; petals white, 2-4 mm long; sepals 1.2-1.8 mm long. [IFBC-E-flora]
  • Fruits: Siliques, erect, 1.5-2.5 cm long, 0.7-1 (1.5) mm wide, glabrous; styles 0.4-0.8 mm long; seeds (20) 24-40, about 1 mm long, usually wingless.[IFBC-E-flora]

USDA Flower Colour: White
USDA Blooming Period: Early Spring
USDA Fruit/Seed characteristics:

Colour: Black
Present from Spring to Summer[USDA-E-flora]

Habitat / Range: Moist streamsides, ditches, open woods and waste places in the lowland and montane zones; frequent throughout BC; E to NF and S to TX, FL and N CA. [IFBC-E-flora]

Edible Uses

  • Leaves - raw or cooked[46, 61, 159, 171]. An excellent water cress substitute[105]. A slightly bitter flavour, but not disagreeable[207]. [PFAF]
  • Root: The grated raw root is used as a condiment[207]. [PFAF]

Medicinal Uses

Leaves & Flowering Plant: Carminative and digestive[172]. [PFAF]


Synonyms

  • Cardamine pensylvanica var. brittoniana Farw. [E-flora]

References

  1. [Duke]
  2. [E-flora] http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Cardamine pensylvanica&redblue=Both&lifeform=7 In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2014. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 11/30/2014 3:01:43 PM ]
    • [IFBC-E-flora] Illustrated Flora of B.C., Douglas, G.W., G.B. Straley, D.V. Meidinger, and J. Pojar, Volume 1-8, .C. Ministry. Environment, Lands and Parks and B.C. Ministry of Forests. Victoria, 1998-2002. Publication
    • [USDA-E-flora] U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Database. http://plants.usda.gov .
  3. [PFAF]
  4. [UMD-Eth]

[IFBC-E-flora]

Cuckooflower - Cardamine pratensis

Other Names: Lady's-smock [Wildman]

SUBTAXA PRESENT IN BC

  • Cardamine pratensis ssp. pratensis
Status: Exotic [IFBC-E-flora]

[E-flora]

"Aerial Part Mustard oil Content, %: 0.0014–0.03 [1, 2] Composition: Butylmustard oil [2] Seed Oil, % on dry wt: 20–22 [1]"[LLCEOPS]

Identification

"Cuckooflower or lady's-smock (Cardamine pratensis) is a perennial, hairless, erect mustard, growing from 8 to 20 inches tall. Its distinctive, fernlike, feather-compound leaves consist of three to seven paired leaflets, and one terminal leaflet. Basal leaflets are rounder, while upper leaflets are more narrow. The pink flowers are typical of mustards. They bloom in spring; then the plant disappears, so you have to collect early. Look for it in moist places, such as swamps, springs, wet meadows, and wet woods, throughout the northern half of North America." [Wildman]

Edible Uses

One of the best-tasting plants of the genus. [Schofield] Its peppery taste makes it a favorite of everyone who tries it. Use it raw or cooked. [Wildman]

Medicinal Uses

"The young leaves have proved a useful anti-scorbutic in their time. Hill. 1754 thought the juice of the fresh leaves “an excellent diuretic, and … good for the gravel”. They have been used for hysteria, and epilepsy, too (Hulme). Thornton rather ambitiously reported that “St Vitus’s dance … has yielded to these flowers…” In Russian folk medicine, it is sometimes combined with an infusion of haws for angina pectoris remedies (Kourennoff), but it is the haws that is the important element in this case. In the Highlands, it was reckoned good for reducing fevers (Beith)." [DPL Watts] "Claims by physicians that the flowering tops have powerful anti-spasmodic properties which are helpful in cases of hysteria, epilepsy and St Vitus’ dance appear in the learned medical literature from the time of John Ray onwards, but evidence that this was also (and maybe originally) a folk remedy seems to be limited to the Highlands150"[MPFT]

"Its bitterish and slightly pungent leaves are supposed to be antiscorbutic. The seeds are said to contain myronic acid, and to yield on decomposition by hydrolysis an oil analogous to oil of mustard. Feist investigated C. amara L. and its volatile oil and found thio-urea. Kuntze states that two kinds of crystals were isolated, both being forms of thio-urea. (A. Pharm., 1907, 657.)"[Remington USD20]

Cardamine Umbellata - Umbel bitter-cress

No Image Yet

[E-flora]2013

Cardamine umbellata; Status: Native. [E-flora-2]
Food Use: Another common and tasty species. [Schofield]

Uses of Cardamine Sp.



 

Edible Uses

There are more than one hundred Cardamine species worldwide. Though some taste better than others, I know of no species that are harmful. [Schofield] "Hedrick (1919) listed eight species of Cardamine used from the Straits of Magellen to New Caledonia, so the comment by Fernald et al. (1958) that species, other than the two they listed, “doubtless have similar qualities,” is surely correct. Most who comment on the genus suggest that it has “just the taste of the English water-cress” (Hedrick 1919). The comparison in the name to “cress” records that long-standing impression" [Daniel F. Austin]

Mustard leaves can be juiced with milder greens like chickweed Stellaria media or sweet fruits like rose hips Rosa species for a vitamin-crammed drink. When pickling salmon, try adding mustard pods and glasswort Salicornia sp. to the brined fish. [Schofield]

Leaves 

Leaves of young bitter cress add zest to salads, quiches, sandwich fillings, soups, and casseroles. Spring to early summer.[Schofield] "These plants are good raw in salads or better cooked in various ways, depending on the cook's imagination and ability. Some are better than others, C. pensylvanica being one of the best" [Kirk WEP]

Medicinal Uses

Mustards, in general, are often recommended to those plagued by indigestion or lack of appetite. [Schofield]

Seeds 

Cardamine seeds are often eaten in India after meals to stimulate digestion. They also are carminative, promoting release of excess gas. Late summer. [Schofield]


Cultivation

Besides nibbling from the wild, you can plant Cardamine and other wild mustards in your garden. Bitter cress does well in rich, moist loam in damp areas at the perimeter of bogs and garden ponds. [Schofield]

"Increased development of plant defense chemicals in leaves can be induced by the presence of leaf-pathogenic fungi. This increased concentration of polyphenols causes a significant reduction in the decomposition of plant litters (Whitham and Schweitzer, 2002). The higher content of these chemicals reduces the colonization of litter by saprotrophic and mycorrhizal fungi. Koide et al. (1998a,b) demonstrated a significant reduction in the growth of ectomycorrhizal fungi as a result of the effects of high concentrations of polyphenols. This effect could be considered analogous to an allelopathic effect if the reduction in mycorrhizal colonization of a host plant led to a reduction in the host plant’s fitness. Molofsky et al. (2000), however, contest that the survival and fitness of the annual plant Cardamine pensylvanica is related to leaf litter mass and persistence rather than litter quality. It is thus possible that the controls exerted by leaf litters are different for annual and perennial plants."[Dighton FEP]


Use of Non-Local Species

"Goyang is an ethnic fermented wild plant food, generally prepared by the Sherpa women of high mountains in the Himalayan regions of India and Nepal (Tamang and Tamang 2007). The leaves of the wild edible plant (Cardamine macrophylla Willd), are collected, washed and cut into pieces, squeezed to drain off excess water, and tightly pressed into bamboo baskets lined with two to three layers of leaves from fg plants. The top of the baskets are then covered with fg plant leaves, and fermented naturally at room temperature for 25 to 30 days. Freshly fermented goyang is transferred into an airtight container which can be stored for 2 to 3 months. The shelf life of goyang can be prolonged by making the freshly fermented goyang into balls that are sun-dried for 2 to 3 days before being stored for several months. Goyang is eaten as a soup. Lb. plantarum, Lb. brevis, Lactococcus lactis, Enterococcus faecium, P. pentosaceus, and yeasts from Candida spp. have been isolated from goyang (Tamang and Tamang 2007). " [Hui HPBFFBT] "Goyang is boiled in a soup along with yak or beef meat and noodles to make a thick thukpa, a common staple food of the Sherpa."[Tamang FFBW]

"Cardamine sp. [syn. Dentaria sp.] (Cruciferae)—pepper root, tooth root There are reports that this little-known plant (possibly C. concatenata) was used as a hallucinogen by the Iroquois (Moerman 1986, 100, 604*). Unfortunately, chemical and ethnobotanical information is lacking (Ott 1993, 405*). The “cuckoo flower” (Cardamine pratensis L.) was once used to treat epilepsy (Millspaugh 1974, 88*)." [Ratsch EPP]


References