Category: Brassicaceae

  • Broadleaf Toothwort (Cardamine diphylla)

    Photographed April 29 with a Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6.

    Broadleaf Toothworts come out a little later than their cousins the Cut-Leaf Toothworts (Cardamine concatenata). The flowers are similar, but these are easily distinguished by their pair of broad three-parted leaves.

    For a description of the species, see the Cardamine diphylla reference page.

  • Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata

    Alliaria petiolata

    A flavorful vegetable that came to our country because of its utility and found it liked its new home, Garlic Mustard can be a nuisance in the spring woods. It also grows in urban yards, as it did here in Beechview, where these pictures were taken April 16.

    Garlic Mustard

    For a fuller description, see the Alliaria petiolata reference page.

    Alliaria petiolata
  • Cut-Leaf Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata)

    Cardamine concatenata
    Photographed April 5.

    Blooming in Bird Park, Mount Lebanon. For a full description, see Cardamine concatenata in the Flora Pittsburghensis reference site.

    Whole plant
    Cut-leaf toothwort
    Close-up of flowers
  • Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

    Photographed February 23.

    Groundhog or no groundhog, we are having an early spring. Hairy Bittercress is one of the first wildflowers to bloom, and it is all over the place now. Here we see the basal rosette of leaves that is prominent early in the season; later the flowering stems will be longer and leafier.

    For more pictures and a full description, see the Cardamine hirsuta page in our reference site.

  • Broadleaf Toothwort (Cardamine diphylla)

    Just as the Cut-Leaf Toothworts (C. concatenata) are winding down, the Broadleaf Toothworts open up. They are not as common as the Cut-Leaf Toothworts, but they like the same wooded hillsides, especially in stream valleys. Broad-Leaf Toothwort is easily distinguished by its two leaves with three broad leaflets each (C. concatenata has three leaves with very narrow lobes). These plants were blooming in early May near the Trillium Trail in Fox Chapel.

    Gray lists this as Dentaria diphylla. He describes the genus and the species thus:

    DENTARIA [Tourn.] L. TOOTHWORT. PEPPER-ROOT. Pod lanceolate, flat. Style elongated. Seeds in one row, wingless, the funiculus broad and flat. Cotyledons petioled, thick, very unequal, their margins somewhat infolding each other. —Perennials, of damp woodlands, with long fleshy sometimes interrupted scaly or toothed rootstocks, of a pleasant pungent taste; steins leafless below, bearing 2 or 3 petioled compound leaves about or above the middle, and terminated by a corymb or short raceme of large white or purple flowers. (Name from dens, a tooth.)

    D. diphylla Michx. Rootstock long and continuous, often branched, the annual segments slightly or not at all tapering at the ends; stems in anthesis 1.5-3 dm. high, stoutish; leaves 3-foliolate, the basal and cauline similar, the latter 2 (rarely 3), opposite or subopposite, leaflets 4-10 cm. long, short-petiolulate, rhombic-ovate or oblong-ovate, coarsely crenate, the teeth bluntly mucronate; flowers white; sepals 5-8 mm. long, half the length of the petals; pods rarely maturing. Rich woods and thickets, e. Que. to s. Ont. and Minn., s. to S.C. and Ky. Apr., May. Rootstocks 2-3 dm. long, crisp, tasting like Water Cress.