Category: Cruciferae

  • 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
  • Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

    Cardamine hirsuta
    Photographed April 5.

    Hairy Bittercress is one of our first spring flowers, often popping up in late winter. A little later in the spring, when daffodils are in bloom, it has developed taller stalks and is starting to grow its linear seedpods.

    This lush patch was growing in Bird Park, Mount Lebanon.

    For a fuller description, see the page on Cardamine hirsuta at the Flora Pittsburghensis reference site.

    Large patch of Hairy Bittercress
    Hairy Bittercress
  • 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.

  • Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)

    Photographed May 26.

    Dame’s Rocket is one of those garden flowers that have made themselves at home here, and it is hard to object to it very much. The beautiful flowers come in all shades from purple to white, and splashy bicolors are frequent. The genus name Hesperis refers to the evening scent: all day these flowers smell like nothing, but when evening comes they put out a strong and delightful perfume. Some of these flowers were blooming in Bird Park, Mount Lebanon; others along the Seldom Seen Greenway.

    Photographed May 15.

    Gray describes the genus and the species:

    HESPERIS [Tourn.] L. ROCKET. Pod linear, nearly cylindrical; stigma lobed, erect. Seeds in 1 row in each cell, oblong, marginless. Cotyledons incumbent. Biennial or perennial, with serrate sessile or petiolate leaves, and large purple flowers. (Name from hespera, evening, from the evening fragrance of the flowers.)

    H. matronalis L. (DAME’S VIOLET.) Tall: leaves lanceolate, acuminate; pods 5-10 cm. long, spreading. Sometimes cultivated, and spreading to roadsides, etc. (Introd. from Eu.)