Hairy Bittercress re-discovered in Schenectady County

While walking along my neighborhood street I spotted a small (about 4 inches tall) member of the Brassicaceae growing in masses in the dirt of a yard.  I had not seen this before and at first glance thought it might be a Draba.  It turns out that is is a European weed called hairy bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta.  The NY Flora Atlas describes its habitat as, “Disturbed soils, waste places, roadsides, railroad edges, thickets, and occasionally rocky summits and bluffs. A common non-native species of thin dry soils it sometimes occurs in native habitats.” It may be common  but it is only vouchered in the Atlas for Long Island, Lower Hudson area, St. Lawrence, Otsego and Allegheny counties.  However, Ted Baim, who wrote the flora of Schenectady County, collected it from “mossy limestone ledges in Wolf Hollow, Glenville.”  He collected a specimen which I assume is at the state museum.  Keep a lookout for this very early-blooming little exotic wildflower. – Steve Young

Explore posts in the same categories: Plant Sightings

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