Hairy Bittercress – Cardamine hirsuta

Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) is sometimes known as Hairy Cress or Popping Cress and is a member of the cabbage family. Hairy Bittercress is a small plant with a rosette of dark green leaves on a short stem that is topped with the small white flowers. These small flowers appear from Frebuary until late November but the ideal time to see this flower is around April.

Hairy Bittercress is an edible weed that is often found in rocky areas, such as walls, gardens and cultivated ground and it flowers allmost all year round.
The plant self pollinates and when the seeds are ready they explode from their pods which means they can be dispersed as far as 1 meter away from the original pant and can be distributed in any direction, this is even greater if the plant is assisted by being moved in the wind.

Hairy Bittercress is often confused with Bittercress, although to identify Hairy Bittercress it is generally shorter and less appealing looking as it does not have the wavy stem of the Bittercress plant. Although a short wavy bittercress  is also available, therefore to truely tell the difference the stamens need to be counted. If the species has 4 it is Hairy Bittercress but if there are 6 stamens then it is Wavy Bitter-Cress.

Height: Up to 30cm
Flowering Time: Feb to Nov
Preferred Conditions: Requires well drained calcareous soil and is very common to cultivated land.