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 bellidifolia L.

English: Alpine bittercress,

French: Cardamine à feulles de pâquerette.

Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), Draba family.

Published in Sp. Pl. 654. 1753.

Type: Described from European mountains, selected Khatri, Feddes Repert. 101: 442. 1990. Lectotype: LINN 835.1.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 3–10 cm high; perennial herbs. Taproot present. Caudex present. Aerial stems erect, or decumbent (procumbent at base, rooting at lower nodes). Leaves mainly basal; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Petioles present; 6–12 mm long; glabrous. Leaf blades simple. Leaf blade bases attenuate, or rounded. Blades 6–12 mm long, 1.5–2.5 mm wide, spatulate. Blade adaxial surface glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous. Blades not lobed. Blade margins entire, glabrous. Hydathodes present but inconspicuous. Blade apices rounded. Apical leaflet base not distinctly stipitate.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems two or more per plant; conspicuously taller than the leaves; with leaves, or without leaves (tiny plants). Inflorescences racemose (elongated, lax); 0.5–1 cm long (in fruit, to 3 cm long in fruit); 8–15 mm wide. Pedicels present; glabrous. Flowers per inflorescence 2–5; small; radially symmetrical (actinomorphic). Sepals conventional; 4; free; 0.9–1.3 mm long; 2.5–3 mm wide; green and purple. Calyx glabrous. Petals conventional; free; 4; white; without contrasting markings; obovate; unlobed; 4–4.5 mm long; 1–2 mm wide. Stamens 6; stamen filaments markedly unequal in length; stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow; 0.4–0.5 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 2; syncarpous. Ovaries oblong; glabrous. Styles present, or absent (Ovary sometimes tapers to the stigma without an evident style); 1; thick and short; 0–0.2 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation parietal. Ovules per ovary 10–14. Fruit stalked; stalk 20–27 mm long; dry; a silique; elongate-cylindrical; black, or brown; 13–20 mm long; 1.5 mm wide; glabrous; surface venation reticulate (very lightly veined on lower half); dehiscent; shedding the outer walls to expose a thin inner wall, with the seeds attached at the margins on either side. Styles remaining straight; persisting in fruit 1–2 mm long. Seeds 10–14; 1.2 mm long; brown; surfaces smooth (without margins).

Chromosome information. 2n = 16.

2n = 16. Sørensen and Westergaard, in Löve and Löve (1948, Greenland); Holmen (1952, Greenland); Löve and Löve (1956, Iceland; 1966, northeastern USA); Jørgensen et al. (1958, Greenland); Sokolosvkaya and Strelkova (1960, 1962, northern Russia); Packer (1964, northwestern Canada); Mulligan (1965, Canada); Zhukova (1965a, 1966, eastern Chukotka); Johnson and Packer (1968, northwest Alaska); Taylor and Mulligan (1968, western Canada); Mulligan and Porsild (1969, Yukon); Engelskjön and Knaben (1971, Norway); Packer and McPherson (1974, northern Alaska); Krogulevich (1976a, northern Siberia); Dawe and Murray, in Löve (1979, Alaska); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1984, north and northeastern Asia); Dalgaard (1989, western Greenland); [Numeri Chromosom. Fl. URSS. 1990]; Gervais et al. (1997a, eastern Canada); Mulligan (2003).

Ploidy levels recorded 2x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: wet meadows, along streams, river terraces, slopes, ridges; rocks; acidic.

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago widespread. Common. High Arctic, alpine. Arctic islands: Baffin, Devon, Ellesmere, Axel Heiberg, Parry islands (Bathurst, Melville, Prince Patrick), Cornwallis, Banks, Prince of Wales, Somerset, Southampton (Bylot, Ellef Ringnes Island, Prince of Wales).

Northern hemisphere distribution. Circumpolar, or circumboreal (arctic-alpine). Northern Iceland, Northern Fennoscandian, Svalbard – Franz Joseph Land, Polar Ural – Novaya Zemlya, Yamal–Gydan, Taimyr – Severnaya Zemlya, Anabar–Olenyok, Kharaulakh, Yana–Kolyma, West Chukotka, Wrangel Island, South Chukotka, East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Land – Peary Land, West Greenland, East Greenland.

Illustrations. • Habitat. Plant 3–4 cm high, growing between the markers on a dry talus slope. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 12 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–074. CAN 586543. Scale bar in cm. • Close-up in habitat. Plant 3–4 cm high, growing between the markers on a dry talus slope. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 12 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–074. CAN 586543. • Close-up of plant. Plant 3–4 cm high. Note the somewhat fleshy leaves, and flowering stems. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 12 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–074. CAN 586543. • Plant in fruit. Plants growing on damp ground along a stream near the end of the runway. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit. 22 July, 1982. J.M. Gillett 18989. CAN. • Close-up of developing fruit. Centre, silique developing in the centre of a flower with the remains of the white petals and green sepals. Other siliques are more mature and much longer than wide. Note the remains of the stigma on top of each silique. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–103. CAN 586576. • Arctic Island Distribution.


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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