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Cardamine nuttallii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub; sap pungent, watery. Leaf: generally simple, alternate; generally both basal, cauline; stipules 0. Inflorescence: generally raceme, generally not bracted. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 4, generally free; petals (0)4, forming a cross, generally white or yellow to purple; stamens generally 6 (2 or 4), 4 long, 2 short (3 pairs of unequal length); ovary 1, superior, generally 2-chambered with septum connecting 2 parietal placentas; style 1, stigma entire or 2-lobed. Fruit: capsule, generally 2-valved, "silique" (length >= 3 × width) or "silicle" (length < 3 × width), dehiscent by 2 valves or indehiscent, cylindric or flat parallel or perpendicular to septum, segmented or not. Seed: 1--many, in 1 or 2 rows per chamber, winged or wingless; embryo strongly curved.
Genera In Family: +- 330 genera, 3780 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Highest diversity in Mediterranean area, mountains of southwestern Asia, adjacent central Asia, western North America; some Brassica species are oil or vegetable crops; Arabidopsis thaliana used in experimental molecular biology; many species are ornamentals, weeds. Aurinia saxatilis (L.) Desvaux in cultivation only. Aubrieta occasional waif in central NCoR, Carrichtera annua (L.) DC. in SCo, Iberis sempervirens L., Iberis umbellata L. in PR, Teesdalia coronopifolia (Bergeret) Thell., Teesdalia nudicaulis (L.) W.T. Aiton in southern NCoRO, CCo. Cardaria, Coronopus moved to Lepidium; Caulostramina to Hesperidanthus; Guillenia to Caulanthus; Heterodraba to Athysanus; California taxa of Lesquerella to Physaria; Malcolmia africana to Strigosella.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CardamineView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to perennial herb, from taproots, fibrous roots, or tuber-like rhizomes; hairs 0 or simple. Leaf: alternate, opposite, or whorled; entire to palmately, pinnately lobed, or compound; cauline leaves petioled or 0, not lobed at base [lobed]. Inflorescence: elongated, bracts generally 0. Flower: sepals erect (spreading), bases sac-like or not; petals white, pink, purple, or violet. Fruit: silique, linear, flat parallel to septum, dehiscent, unsegmented; valves generally coiling when dehiscent; placental margins flattened. Seed: (4)10--80, in 1 row, wingless.
Species In Genus: +- 200 species: temperate, worldwide. Etymology: (Greek: for cress) Note: Some North American species (e.g., Cardamine californica, Cardamine nuttallii, Cardamine pachystigma) highly variable, more study needed; species treated conservatively here. Cardamine flexuosa With. a waif in gardens, nurseries.
Unabridged Note: Some North American species (e.g., Cardamine californica, Cardamine nuttallii, Cardamine pachystigma) highly variable and numerous minor variants were recognized as varieties. Critical studies of these complexes reveal that only a fraction of the overall continuous variation was formally recognized. Without detailed molecular and cytological studies, a broader species concept is adopted herein.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz

Cardamine nuttallii Greene
Habit: Perennial herb, glabrous or sparsely hairy; rhizome slender, segments fleshy, 2--5 mm wide, ovoid to oblong or cylindric. Stem: simple, 0.5--2(3) dm, glabrous, or hairy distally. Leaf: rhizome simple or compound, leaflets 3(5), terminal leaflet or simple leaf (0.9)1.3--4(5.2) cm, reniform to +- round, ovate, or oblong, base cordate to obtuse, margin crenate to dentate or 5--7-lobed; petiole (2)3--18(21) cm; cauline 1--3, leaflets 3(5), petioled, terminal 1--3.5(6) cm, widely ovate to oblong or linear. Flower: sepals 3.5--5 mm; petals 1--1.5 cm, 4--7.5 mm wide, pale pink to purple (white). Fruit: 2.6--5.6 cm, 2--2.3 mm wide; style 4--8 mm; pedicel ascending to spreading, 1--3.5 cm. Seed: 8--16, 2--2.5 mm, oblong.
Ecology: Generally moist sites, canyons, forest; Elevation: 150--2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, n&c SNH; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia. Flowering Time: Mar--May
Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana (O.E. Schulz) Rollins; Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta (O.E. Schulz) Rollins; Cardamine nuttallii var. gemmata (Greene) Rollins; Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii; Cardamine gemmata Greene; Cardamine pulcherrima Greene var. tenella (Pursh) C.L. Hitchc.; Cardamine tenella (Pursh) O.E. Schulz var. dissecta O.E. Schulz; Dentaria gemmata (Greene) Howell; Dentaria tenella Pursh var. palmata Detling;
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
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botanical illustration including Cardamine nuttallii


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Cardamine nuttallii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on January 22, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on January 22, 2018.

Cardamine nuttallii var. gemmata
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse
Cardamine nuttallii
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© 2010 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse

More photos of Cardamine nuttallii in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Cardamine nuttallii:
NW, n&c SNH;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.