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Cardamine diphylla (Crinkleroot)
Cressler, Alan

Cardamine diphylla

Cardamine diphylla (Michx.) Alph. Wood

Crinkleroot, Two-leaved Toothwort, Two-leaf Toothwort

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Synonym(s): Dentaria diphylla, Dentaria incisa

USDA Symbol: CADI10

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

An upright, 8-16 in. perennial with paired leaves, each dissected so deeply as to appear compound. The leaves are palmately cut into 3-5 sections. The basal leaves, when present, arise from a rhizome. A loose cluster of white or light pink, four-petaled blossoms occur at the end of a stem rising above the leaves.

This plant grows in woods but does not tolerate the deep shade cast by evergreen trees.


From the Image Gallery

22 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Silique
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CT , GA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: N.S. to s. Ont. & WI, s. to SC & MS
Native Habitat: Rich, wooded slopes; alluvial woods

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Humus-rich, acid soil.
Conditions Comments: A light, leafy wintercover is desireable. This plant does not tolerate the deep shade cast by evergreen trees.


Use Wildlife: West Virginia White is a native butterfly species often mistaken for Cabbage White, an introduced species. Lays its eggs one by one on this plant and Dentaria laciniata, another toothwort.
Attracts: Butterflies

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

West Virginia White
(Pieris virginiensis)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Can be easily multiplied by rootstock division when the plant is dormant. Be careful, as rhizomes are easily broken. Seeds should be sown on a moist, shaded seed bed immediately after collection. Expect the seedlings to flower in 3-4 years.
Seed Collection: A long, slender pod splits open 4-5 weeks after the bloom period. To catch the seeds, collect the pods when the seeds have turned dark brown and allow the pods to dry and split in a paper bag. Seeds lose viability quickly in storage.
Commercially Avail: 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:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

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 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


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

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