Cut-Leaved Toothwort

Cardamine concatenata Brassicaceae

Growth habit

Herbaceous

Perennation

Perennial

Native distribution

Native to the Finger Lakes Region

Cultivation

A 6" ephemeral with white flowers.
Light: shade to part shade
Moisture and Soil: dry to moist soil

Propagation

Seed Treatment and Storage: Best if seeds are kept moist, then given cold/moist stratification.

Biocultural value

The rootstock has a peppery, radish-like flavor. It makes a passable substitute for horseradish when grated and mixed with vinegar. The Haudenosaunee employed cut-leaved toothwort as a gastrointestinal and dietary aid, cold medicine, and heart medicine. It also had a variety of ceremonial uses and the roots were eaten raw with salt or boiled.

The statements above are sourced from:

Fernald, Merritt Lyndon, and Alfred Charles Kinsey Kinsey. 1958. Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Harper and Row.

Wildlife value

Lance-leaved and two-leaved toothworts are the preferred host of the West Virginia white butterfly (Pieris virginiensis) which is declining throughout its range due to the spread of invasive garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), which is in the same family as toothwort but does not support the butterfly's larvae. The bee Andrena arabis only collects pollen from Cardamine and Arabis, another genus in the mustard family (Brassicaceae). Flea beetles (Phyllotreta bipustulata and P. zimmermanni) feed on the foliage.

Climate change sensitivity

Over the period from 1986 to 2015, Cardamine concatenata bloomed an average of 4.4 days earlier.

Location

Mundy Wildflower Garden, Coy Glen, McLean Bogs, Eames Bog, Ringwood Ponds, Purvis Road Natural Area

Special characteristics

Toothworts are the preferred host of the West Virginia white butterfly, which is declining throughout its range due to the spread of the invasive plant garlic mustard.

Status

L4|S5|G5