West Highland Flora

Hairy Bittercress


Cardamine hirsuta

 

Cardamine hirsuta

Photo Carl Farmer
5 May 2002 Scorrybreac, Skye

Common in bare dry sunny places, most noticeable in Spring.  Can sometimes occur in more moist and shady spots, when liable to be mistaken for Wavy Bittercress at first glance.

A low plant, under 30 cm high.  Flower diameter c 2-3.5 mm

ID: Stem arises from basal rosette of leaves that have about 5-7 roundish, sometimes stalked, leaflets on each side and a larger one at the end.  Stem leaves similar but smaller and fewer, normally no more than 4 per stem, often with narrower leaflets.  Usually 4 stamens to a flower (examine several).  The similar Wavy Bittercress has 6, and so does the much larger Cuckoo Flower

Other features: Young pods noticeably overtop the unopened flowers.  In Wavy B they may not do so at all, or if so then not in such a pronounced and consistent way.  Stems usually hairless.

 

Cardamine hirsuta

Photo Carl Farmer
9 Apr 2004 Portree, Skye
Right-hand pod c 20 mm long

Above: showing how pods overtop flowers
Right: Growing in a shady mossy habitat more
often associated with Wavy Bittercress

  Cardamine hirsuta

Photo Carl Farmer
10 Apr 2004 Scorrybreac, Skye
Height of plant (to tip of pods) c 8.5 cm

 

Cardamine hirsuta

Photo Carl Farmer
26 Apr 2004 Portree, Skye

Showing the diagnostic 4 stamens


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