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Hairy Bittercress


A perfect rosette of Hairy Bitter Cress
A perfect rosette of Hairy Bitter Cress
The delicate flowers of Hairy Bitter Cress
The delicate flowers of Hairy Bitter Cress
The many seed pods which can be collected and used as mustard seeds
The many seed pods which can be collected and used as mustard seeds
A rosette of Hairy Bitter Cress
A rosette of Hairy Bitter Cress
Hairy Bitter Cress, Cardamine hirsuta
Hairy Bitter Cress, Cardamine hirsuta
A rosette of Hairy Bitter Cress
A rosette of Hairy Bitter Cress
Hairy Bitter Cress, Cardamine hirsuta
Hairy Bitter Cress, Cardamine hirsuta
Hairy Bitter Cress starting to flower from between the road and the curb
Hairy Bitter Cress starting to flower from between the road and the curb


Edibility Edible
   
Common Name 2 Lambs Cress
Common Name 3 Land Cress
Common Name 4 Spring Cress
Common Name 5 Hoary Bittercress
Common Name 6 Shot Weed
Common Name 7 Flick Weed
Latin Name Cardamine hirsuta
   
Season Start All year
Season End All year
   
   
Habitat Occurs on bare soil, light grass, cracks in paths and growing on walls. It is a very common plant. It will grow just about anywhere as it does not need much light.
Leaves Small, green and rounded growing in opposite pairs along the leaf stem with one single finishing leaf at the end.
Flowers Tiny, delicate white flowers growing in small groups at the top of a vertical stem.
Stem This plant grows in a rosette, low to the ground with flowering stems that will grow taller from the centre up to around a foot tall, possibly more.
Roots Fine net of roots, off white to cream.
Smell Like Cress.
Taste This plant tastes like peppery cress crossed with rocket and is one of our favourite edibles. Great for salads, soups, salsa, pestos and anything else you might ever use cress for.
Collecting The leaves are the only parts we collect, they are quite small but usually grow in groups so a few leaf stems from each plant in an area will usually suffice for a meal.

Uprooting plants is not allowed on common land in the UK but if you have permission to, this plant will do very well in a bowl of water on your window sill for quite a while while you take a few leaves a day for your sandwiches :).

Possible Confusion There are similar plants, but nothing dangerous, so the way to find out if you have Hairy Bitter Cress is to have a taste..
Description
This lovely little plant is available all year in the UK.

It has a 12 week lifecycle so if left undisturbed a patch can grow quite substancially in a year. This species grows to no more than 30 centimetres tall. The stems are hairless and the leaves do not clasp the stems, as in Cardamine flexuosa.

The thin seedpods are about 3 centimetres long, and explode when ripe flinging the seeds to new ground.

This plant is a member of the mustard family Brassicaceae.

Medical Use
Other Use