West Highland Flora

Wavy Bittercress


Cardamine flexuosa

 

Cardamine flexuosa

Photo Carl Farmer
22 Sep 2002 Portree, Skye

Very common in damp shady places, either on bare ground or among other vegetation.

A low but upright plant, normally well under 30 cm high but taller in marshes.  Flowers c 2.5-4 mm across.  Ripe pod c 12-25 mm long.

ID: Stem arises from basal rosette of leaves that have about 5 roundish stalked leaflets on each side and a larger one at the end.  Stem leaves similar but smaller and often with narrower leaflets.  Flowers (examine several) normally have 6 stamens, of which 2 may or may not be smaller than the others (the similar Hairy Bittercress normally has 4 stamens).  Told from Cuckoo Flower by smaller size of all parts and by petals being narrow and separate rather than rounded and overlapping.

Other features: Stems slightly flexuous.  Usually perennial (Hairy is annual).  Flowers always white.  Stems normally hairy but not always.

 

Cardamine flexuosa

Photo Carl Farmer
1 May 2004 Portree, Skye
Both flowers c 6.5 mm across at widest

Flowers showing the diagnostic 6 stamens

  Cardamine flexuosa

Photo Carl Farmer
1 May 2004 Portree, Skye

Spring flowering on damp cleared forestry ground
 among young Fireweed and Foxglove shoots

 

Cardamine flexuosa

Photo Carl Farmer
30 Sep 2001 Portree, Skye

View from above.  Many of these are basal rosette leaves.

 

Cardamine flexuosa

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Jun 2004 Portree, Skye
Visible part of RH stem (to top pod tip) c 11 cm

  Cardamine flexuosa

Photo Carl Farmer
22 Sep 2002 Portree, Skye

Pods.  Pic on left shows wavy stem from which the plant gets its name.

 

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