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Cardamine concatenata (Cutleaf toothwort)
Makin, Julie

Cardamine concatenata

Cardamine concatenata (Michx.) Sw.

Cutleaf Toothwort, Pepper Root

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Synonym(s): Cardamine laciniata, Dentaria concatenata, Dentaria concatenata var. coalescens, Dentaria laciniata, Dentaria laciniata var. integra

USDA Symbol: caco26

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

This perennialís 6-20 in. stem is topped in a cluster of small, four-petaled pink or white flowers. Terminal clusters of white or pink flowers on an erect stem with deeply cleft leaves. They stand above a whorl of leaves that are deeply divided and coarsely toothed.

This species was formerly known as Dentaria laciniata. Twoleaf Toothwort (C. diphylla, formerly Dentaria diphylla) has only two nearly opposite, deeply dissected stem leaves, each with three toothed lobes. Toothworts bloom in the spring; the common name refers to the tooth-like projections on the underground stems.


From the Image Gallery

43 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Silique
Size Notes: Normally 6 to 8 inches high, but can reach 20 inches.
Flower: Flowers 3/4 inch.
Fruit: 1 inch.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Blooms before deciduous trees have leafed out. Flowers normally white tinged with pink or lavender.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , ON , QC
Native Distribution: Western Que. to MN & NE, s. to Gulf Coast states & e. KS
Native Habitat: Rich woods; wooded bottomlands; rocky banks & bluffs; limestone outcrops

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Rich, mesic to moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Tolerates seasonal flooding and limestone.


Use Ornamental: Contributes early spring color to the Southeastern woodland garden.
Use Wildlife: Consumed by White-footed Mouse.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

West Virginia White
(Pieris virginiensis)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
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
Maintenance: A light, leafy winter cover is desirable.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 928 - 100 easy-to-grow native plants for Canadian gardens (2005) Johnson, L.; A. Leyerle
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.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-03-13
Research By: TWC Staff

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