Jun. 27, 2021

hairy bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta

Hairy bittercress. Sounds like something we would just have to pop into our mouths? Actually, many do. It is used as a green and pot herb. The hairy part is pretty insignificant, unless you're identifying it in a plant key. Then the tiny hairs at the leaf axils matter. Otherwise the plants are quite smooth. Bitter? Some of the relatives are, and the genus is generally called bittercress, but young hairy bittercress plants are mild. So why don't we plant and eat this one? No need! Every spring it will come to open spots near you, in these large dense patches pretty much where ever you live in the world. Hairy bittercress started in Europe and with us has now been reported from every state except AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, BC, ON, and QC. Lenawee Co MI, 4/21/11. Mustard family, Brassicaceae.