Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Cardamine L.

English: Bittercress.

Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), Draba family.

Published in Sp. Pl. 654. 1753.

Vegetative morphology. Plants (3–)5–20 cm high; perennial herbs; never vegetatively proliferating by bulbils on stems or leaves, in inflorescences, from gemmiphores and gemmae, or by fragmentation (usually), or sometimes vegetatively proliferating in inflorescences. Taproot present, or only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or absent; rhizomatous; elongate; 0.5–1 mm wide (if applicable). Caudex present, or absent. Aerial stems erect, or decumbent (rarely procumbent in C. digitata). Leaves mainly basal, or distributed along the stems; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Petioles 2.5–40(–60) mm long; glabrous. Leaf blades simple, or compound. Leaf blade bases attenuate. Blades 25–80 mm long, 1.5–12 mm wide, spatulate (if applicable). Blade adaxial surface glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous. Blade apices rounded (if applicable). Leaflet arrangement pinnate (if applicable). Leaflets veins inconspicuous (if applicable). Apical leaflet base not distinctly stipitate.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems with leaves (usually). Inflorescences racemose. Pedicels glabrous. Flowers per inflorescence 2–15; small, or medium-sized. Sepals conventional; 4; free; 1–2 mm long; 2.2–5 mm wide; green and purple. Calyx glabrous. Petals conventional; free; 4; white and pink; obovate; unlobed; 4–12 mm long; 1–6 mm wide. Stamens 6; stamen filaments markedly unequal in length; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow; 0.4–1.2 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 2; syncarpous. Ovaries oblong; glabrous. Styles 1; thick and short; 0–7 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation parietal. Ovules per ovary 5–20. Fruit stalked; dry; a silique; 12–35 mm long; 1.5–2 mm wide; dehiscent; shedding the outer walls to expose a thin inner wall, with the seeds attached at the margins on either side. Styles persisting in fruit 1–3 mm long. Seeds 10–20; 1.2–2 mm long; brown.

Chromosome information. 2n = 16, or 2, or 56–100.

Illustrations. • Genus Cardamine: Bitter Cress. Genus characterised by having white or pinkish, scentless flowers, and flattened terete siliques that open elastically from the base. Seeds are in one row.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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