Random Plant: Cutleaf toothwort

Cutleaf toothwort (Dentaria laciniata, Brassicaceae) photographed 04/29/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

Blooming from mid-April to early May, cutleaf toothwort (Dentaria laciniata or Cardamine concatenata, Brassicaceae) exhibits the four-petaled flower arrangement typical of members of the mustard family.  Its large flowers and relative abundance in eastern woodlands makes it a favorite of insect pollinators.   It also seems to attract spiders that feed on the pollinators.

Cutleaf toothwort (Dentaria laciniata, Brassicaceae) photographed 04/29/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

Although predominantly white, I sometimes see them tinged with pink.  I suspect this coloration is exhibited near the end of the flowering period, as is often seen with white trilliums.

Cutleaf toothwort (Dentaria laciniata, Brassicaceae) photographed 04/25/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

The most obvious characteristics that sets cutleaf toothwort apart from other woodland mustards are the narrow and coarse-toothed leaves.  These leaves are pretty distinct, and make it easy to spot this plant even before they start to flower.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Random Plant and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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