Donate online to help support Botany Photo of the Day

Subscribe to BPotD

Type your email address below!

BPotD Around the World!

Locations of visitors to this page

Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

Cardamine concatenata

Cardamine concatenata

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."


frances howey commented:

Loved the picture of the the Toothwart, which is flowering at the moment in my London, Ontario garden too. Had a look at Marie's blog - 66 Square Feet, New York, One Woman, One Terrace, 12 Seasons and Bookmarked it. I called the Cardamine, Dentaria - have the taxonomists been at work again? Fran

Julie commented:

A naturalist told me this is called Toothwort because it contains a lot of vitamin C and was used to prevent scurvy (thus preventing tooth loss).

Marian Gordin commented:

Toothwort is blooming in Georgia at this end of the Blue Ridge mountains. I always think the flowers look like molars.

Daniel Mosquin commented:

The suffix -wort in a common name means that it was once thought to heal afflictions for the root of the word. Toothwort heals teeth, lungwort heals respiratory issues, etc.

elizabeth a airhart commented:

by any other name this is a lovely wildflower tis meant
to bloom and for us to enjoy thank you

i like to follow the links presented the left side of the page
is ever so helpful the kew garden blogs are so interesting

daniel are you in the states this month tis been a lovely spring

Daniel Mosquin commented:

Hi Elizabeth,

Yes, on the road right now, just finished hmmm... day 5 of 14.

botanical white commented:

A naturalist told me this is called Toothwort because it contains a lot of vitamin C and was used to prevent scurvy (thus preventing tooth loss).

Comments are closed.

If you have a gardening question, the best place to ask is on the UBC Botanical Garden Forums. Thank you!

« Previous entry: Ptilotus spathulatus | Main | Archives | Next entry: Mertensia virginica »

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.3928
Fax: 604.822.2016 Email:

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia