narrowleaf bittercress
Cardamine impatiens L.


Cardamine impatiens is an herbaceous plant which can be an annual or biennial. It can grow to be 2 ft. (0.6 m) in height. The stem is erect and glabrous. It is somewhat shade tolerant, so it does well in forest edges or dappled sunlight. It also does well in areas that have moist soil.
The leaves (6-20) are thin and membranous. The basal rosette of leaves are pinnately divided. Each leaf has 3-11 leaflets with rounded lobes. The leaves along the stem are also pinnately divided, with sharply toothed or lacerate leaflets. These leaves are sagittate auriculate (a pair of fleshy blunt projections turned downward) at their base, which is an important diagnostic characteristic.
The plant blooms from May to August and its white flowers are small, being up to 0.1 in. (2.5 mm) long.
The slender siliques (a type of fruit) ripen from May to September. They are 0.6-0.8 in. (1.5-2 cm) long and there are 10-24 seeds in each of them which shoot out from the dry fruits.
Ecological Threat
Cardamine impatiens produces many seeds per plant. It can form dense stands invading woodland habitats, and outcompete native species.


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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Capparales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Cardamine
Subject: Cardamine impatiens L.


Plants - Forbs/Herbs