Monday, April 16, 2012

Piedmont NWR: Bulbous Bittercress (Cardamine bulbosa)

March 24th, 2012. We returned to the Piedmont NWR to check on plants we saw on March 10th and took the same route as on our last trip. We took Starr Road from GA-83 south on through the Oconee National Forest into the NWR. We drove through Tribble Fields to the bridge over Little Falling Creek and then north to Pond 2A. We returned the way we’d come and then took the first road on the right down to the Round Tree – Juliette Rd, drove east and then back into the NWR on the first road on the left. From there we drove north to the intersection with Sugar Hill Road, turned west and forded Stalking Head Creek. We then drove north and took the first road on the right to ford Stalking Head Creek again, east past a small pond and southeast to meet Sugar Hill Road again and then east to GA-11.

On our way up to Pond 2A, we stopped by a tributary to Little Falling Creek, thinking that we might be able to make our way to a large patch of Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) plants we’d seen on our previous visit. It turned out that they were on the other side of Little Falling Creek which had deeply eroded the landscape and would be very difficult, if not impossible, to cross at this point.

Since there were Atamasco lilies (Zephyranthes atamasco) flowering in the woods, we wandered around to see what else might be blooming in the area. We stumbled upon a damp, muddy area in which we found Virginia Springbeauty (Claytonia virginica) plants in bloom. And then we found some small white flowers that we’d never seen before.

Bulbous Bittercress (Cardamine bulbosa). The plants go almost unnoticed in the grass. If there hadn’t been so many in bloom, we might have missed them.

A slightly closer view.

An individual plant.

Close ups of the blooms.

A closeup of the calyx

The leaves.

Cardamine bulbosa
(Bulbous Bittercress) is native to the United States and grows throughout the eastern United States and Canada. In Georgia, it has been documented in only 8 counties in the western half of the state; it hasn’t been documented in Jones County.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Cardamine bulbosa (Bulb Bittercress)

- Name that Plant: Cardamine bulbosa (Bulbous Bittercress, Spring Cress)

- Missouri Plants: Cardamine bulbosa


- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Cardamine bulbosa

- USDA Plants Database: Cardamine bulbosa (Bulbous Bittercress)

Related Posts
- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasco)

- Jasper County, Georgia: Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

- Jasper County, Georgia: New Life – Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) & Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)

- Piedmont NWR: Flowering Dogwoods (Cornus florida)

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