Cardamine impatiens   Narrow-leaved Bitter-cress RR DD N

Cardamine impatiens Cardamine impatiens flowers

When I was first shown this plant many years ago it was similar in height and sturdiness to C. flexuosa (Wavy bitter-cress) but with different shaped leaves. I knew it was a little later flowering than the other Cardamine species but the first visit in 2006 on 23rd May yielded many healthy plants with tight buds but no sign of flowers. This is clearly a mid-summer plant.

There were hundreds of them in flower at this one site in Derbyshire today and they were all much, much taller (up to 80 cm), wider and lighter green in colour than C. flexuosa. They were growing, as predicted by Stace, on limestone scree in the shade of a bridge or trees. They seem to prefer the shade such that where the shadows finish and the morning sun reaches there are no plants growing but a few feet away on similar but shaded ground there were plenty to be seen.

Apart from the serrate leaves themselves, the best known diagnostic features for this Bitter-cress are the auricles where the leaves clasp the stem. The flowers, when present are white but often this plant has flowers with no petals.

It is found in England in Derbyshire, Mid Wales, a few sites in the north west and south east of England but there is little in Scotland or Ireland.

Chee Dale, Derbyshire 15th June 2006

Added on 23rd May 06, modified on Jan 11th 07, updated 20th Nov 08, updated 10th Mar 10, updated Se3 27th Apr 10

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