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Rock Toothwort
Cardamine pachystigma

About Rock Toothwort (Cardamine pachystigma) Cardamine pachystigma is a species of cardamine known by the common name serpentine bittercress. It is endemic to California, where it grows in rocky mountainous areas, often on serpentine and volcanic soils. This is a hairless perennial herb producing stems from tiny rhizomes, each stem erect to about 30 centimeters in height. The leaves are generally made up of several leaflets which are oval to round, thick and fleshy, and several centimeters long. The flower cluster produces pink or purple flowers with petals up to a centimeter long. The fruit is a silique up to 6 centimeters in length. There are two varieties of this species. The rarer, var. dissectifolia, the dissected-leaf toothwort, is an uncommon plant found scattered around the rim of the Sacramento Valley and coastal mountains to the west.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
11.8 in (30 cm)

Flower Color
Pink, Purple

Native Status

Natural Setting
Part Shade

Elevation ?
168' - 9738'

Annual Precip. ?
15.6" - 120.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.44" - 3.61"

Coldest Month ?
27.7° F - 49.3° F

Hottest Month ?
49.3° F - 75.0° F

Humidity ?
0.68 vpd - 23.62 vpd

Sunset Zones ?
1, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Serpentine Bittercress

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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