Thanks once again to Marie Viljoen@Flickr for sharing one of her photographs (you can read about her botanizing trip that day on her weblog entry: Pelham Bay Park in Early April). The image is posted via Flickr here: Cardamine concatenata. Additional images of this species can be seen on Flickr from another frequent BPotD contributor, Eric in SF: Cardamine concatenata. Marie's photograph was taken in New York on April 1, while Eric's image of the species from Little Rock, Arkansas was made on March 4.
A springtime ephemeral of nutrient-rich woods and wooded slopes, Cardamine concatenata blooms early in the (seasonal to the area) spring, before the leaves of the nearby deciduous trees fully emerge. Within a couple months or so, it returns to dormancy. Cut-leaved toothwort or pepper-root is native to a broad area of eastern North America. The Missouri Botanical Garden, in a factsheet page for Cardamine concatenata explains the origin of the common name: "Although the leaves are toothed, the common name probably is in reference to the tooth-like projections on the fleshy rootstock. The toothworts are sometimes called pepperroots in reference to the spicy, radish-like flavor of the rhizomes which can be cut up and added to salads."