spring cress

(Cardamine bulbosa)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

spring cress

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

OBL - Obligate wetland

Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland

Nativity

Native

Photo by Wayne Rasmussen
Occurrence

 

 
Habitat

Wet to moist. Woods, meadows, shallow water.

 
Flowering

April to June

 
Flower Color

White

 
Height

10 to 40

 
 
Identification

This is a 10 to 40 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on 1 or more stems from a knobby caudex and fibrous roots that produce small tubers.

The stems are erect, hairless, green, purplish at the base, and unbranched or branched near the top.

Basal leaves are oval to round, 1 to 2 long, 1 to 1 wide, hairless, unlobed, and straight across ar tapered at the base. The margins are untoothed, slightly wavy, and sometimes hairy. They are on leaf stalks that are up to 2¾ long and purplish. They are usually withered by the time the plant is in flower.

There are 4 to 14 alternate stem leaves. They are oblong to lance-shaped, smaller than the basal leaves, unlobed, and sometimes hairy. The margins are sometimes coarsely toothed. They are mostly stalkless.

The inflorescence is an unbranched, elongated cluster (raceme) at the end of the stem. As the plant matures the raceme elongates, ultimately up to 6 long, with the flowers crowded at the top and the fruits widely spaced below.

The flowers are about ½ wide. There are 4 green, long, hairless sepals that turn yellow with age, 4 white, ¼ to ½ long, unlobed petals, and 4 long and 2 short stamens. Each flower is on a ½ to ¾ long, slender, hairless stalk. The flowers are sometimes fragrant.

The fruit is a ¾ to 1 long, narrow, somewhat flattened, ascending to erect pod. When mature the pod splits and the two sides fall away leaving the transparent interior partition attached to the plant.

 
Similar
Species

Cuckoo flower (Cardamine pratensis) has pinnately divided leaves.

Purple cress (Cardamine douglasii) has a stem that is hairy at the base. The sepals are hairy and turn dark purple with age. The petals are tinted purplish-pink.

 
Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.
 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Brassicaceae (mustard)

 

Tribe:

Cardamineae

 
Synonyms

Arabis bulbosa

Arabis rhomboidea

Cardamine rhomboidea

 
Common
Names

bulb bittercress

bulbous bitter-cress

bulbous bittercress

spring cress

spring-cress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Caudex

A short, thickened, woody, persistent enlargement of the stem, at or below ground level, used for water storage.

 

Raceme

An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
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Wayne Rasmussen
       
  spring cress    
       
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Wayne Rasmussen
5/31/2016

Location: Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

spring cress


     
     
 
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