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Cardamine bulbosa (Bulbous bittercress)
Smith, R.W.

Cardamine bulbosa

Cardamine bulbosa (Schreb. ex Muhl.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.

Bulbous Bittercress, Spring Cress

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Synonym(s): Arabis bulbosa, Arabis rhomboidea, Cardamine rhomboidea

USDA Symbol: CABU3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Small white flowers in clusters atop smooth erect stems.

Cuckoo Flower (C. pratensis), with white or pinkish flowers, has pinnately divided leaves. Pennsylvania Bittercress (C. pensylvanica), with very tiny flowers, also has pinnately divided leaves. Mountain Watercress (C. rotundifolia), also white-flowered, has oval leaves with tiny projections on the leafstalks.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Silique
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: White, rarely pale pink.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: Manitoba east to Nova Scotia, south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to North Dakota.
Native Habitat: Along springs and brooks, swamps, and wet clearings.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX


Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 80 - Illinois Wildflowers (2002) John Hilty
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Cardamine bulbosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cardamine bulbosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cardamine bulbosa


Record Modified: 2022-12-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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