PLANT PROFILE

 

NAME: Bittercress

LATIN NAME / FAMILY:  Cardamine hirsuta / Brassicaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  Hairy Bitter Cress

CONDITIONS: sun

 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

pepper/mustard

RAW/COOK

Winter-Spring

Buds/Flowers

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

pepper/mustard

RAW/COOK

Winter-Spring

Fruits

 

 

 

 

Roots

       

Seeds

 

 

   

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Pods

 

 

 

 

Stalk/Stem

 

 

 

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: small

 

COMMENT/CAUTION:  The plant germinates most freely in the autumn and so leaves are usually available all winter. Leaves and flowers used as garnish or in salads or soups. As with any hot and spicy food, eat in moderation.

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL: It contains glucosinolates which are known to help remove carcinogens from the body.  It also contains, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and possibly lutein which is known to help reduce vision problems including cataracts.(5) 

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  Like other cresses such as Shepard’s Purse https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsella_bursa-pastoris

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES:  The tiny flowers are attractive to a few early butterflies, including (in the United States) spring azure (Celastrina ladon) and falcate orange-tip (Anthocharis midea).(1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Cardamine+hirsuta
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/?s=Cardamine+hirsuta+
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardamine_hirsuta
  4. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2006/12/bittercress.html  (good photos)
  5. http://www.eattheplanet.org/bittercress-a-nationwide-herb/