Plant A Day – Hairy Bittercress

Hairy Bittercress Cardamine hirsuta

Hairy Bittercress
Cardamine hirsuta

One of the identification points of Hairy Bittercress is that the stem is smooth … no hairs!  The only hairs on the plant are a few short ones on the base of the leaf stems.  I find it interesting that botanists are so worked up about hairs on plants that whenever they find just a few on a plant, they name a whole new species after it. 🙂  I’m sure that there is a whole web page out there that discusses the role of hairs on plants.

Hairy Bittercress is a European plant that grows in disturbed areas around Indiana.  Most people would consider it a weed.  Even the wild edibles people consider it a bitter plant to eat, although I’m sure that it’s chock full of vitamins.

I haven’t found it particularly invasive or noxious, since it tends to grow along gravel drives and other places where native plants don’t do so well anyway.

Nice smooth stem

Nice smooth stem

Rather drab looking plant

Rather drab looking plant

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