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Pennsylvania Bittercress Back to Plant Page
Cardamine pensylvanica

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About Pennsylvania Bittercress (Cardamine pensylvanica) Cardamine pensylvanica is a species of Cardamine known by the common name Pennsylvania bittercress. It is native to most of Canada and the United States from coast to coast. It is generally found in moist to wet areas, such as the mud on riverbanks. It is a biennial herb producing one or more erect or leaning, branching stems which are purple to green in color and grow 10-70 cm (4-28 in) tall. The leaves are hairless and divided into several rounded to oval lobes, each of which has one or two lobes, with the exception of the large terminal leaflet at the tip, which generally has three. Most of the leaves are located along the stem and there is no basal rosette. The inflorescence comprises many flowers, each with four white petals a few millimeters long. The fruit is a slender silique 2-3 cm (0. 8-1. 2 in) long.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.33 - 2.3 ft (0.1 - 0.7 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
17' - 8283'

Annual Precip. ?
12.6" - 58.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.22" - 2.27"

Coldest Month ?
28.1° F - 55.9° F

Hottest Month ?
50.9° F - 76.8° F

Humidity ?
0.63 vpd - 24.17 vpd

Soil Description
Adaptable, tolerant of sand, loam and clay

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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