Weeds that Split Seeds! Hairy Bittercress

Last year I discovered a few of these in my garden… as I started to pull them up, and disturbed the plant, the seeds flew upward as if the plant were spitting in my face.

Hairy BittercressI looked it up and found that it’s called Hairy Bittercress. It’s scientific name is:  Cardamine hirsuta L.. and here’s the USDA website about these plants: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=cahi3

I didn’t have too  much of it last year, but found I have soooo much now, it’s everywhere. And with a propogation mechanism of spitting it’s pointy seeds high into the air and around itself, it’s no wonder!

Right now, the plants are young and the seeds are not yet spitting. I recommend pulling them up now, once they start spitting their seeds, they will spread everywhere.

Hairy Bittercress

I found a site about foraging these “weeds” which I found really intriguing.

To gather the hairy bittercress, we just lift up the cluster of leaf stalks and cut them with a knife near the ground. Then we wash the greens and pick through them, discarding the yellow leaves and pinching off some of the larger stems and flower stalks. They add a peppery bite to raw salads, and can be cooked with soups or in a recipe like other greens. We did eat a big salad with a yogurt and bittercress dressing for dinner one night, and may try some potatoes cooked with bittercress and field onions into a breakfast hash this week.

Ref: http://the3foragers.blogspot.com/2012/03/hairy-bittercress.html

I also learned something new about how to get great images from Flickr and use the proper copyright attributions.

Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress) by born1945, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  born1945 
And here’s one with a close up of those ultra-efficient seeds:
Hairy Bittercress by born1945, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License

  by  born1945 

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