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Brassicaceae: Cardamine diphylla (Michx.) Wood

Cardamine diphylla is one of five spring ephemerals occurring in hardwood and mixed forests of Nova Scotia. It is a low (20 - 40 cm height) perennial with smooth stems and usually, two opposite, 3-parted, coarsely toothed leaves. The inflorescence is a raceme with long-stalked, 4-petalled flowers typical of the Brassicaceae. Petals are white to pink or purple. Slender pods bear seeds in a single row. In Nova Scotia it flowers from April to early June. Typical habitat is "moist rich soil along brooks and in low lying wet or rocky woods … only in the northern part of the province."1 C. diphylla has an eastern North America distribution, occurring in the Maritime provinces, Quebec and Ontario, and in the eastern U.S. south to Missouri, Alabama and Georgia.

Sources | Selected Web Resources | Line Drawing

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May 19, 2011. Hants County: Smiley's Park on the Meander River and a
second site a few kilometers downstream. Photographer: JackPine.
Cardamine diphylla in Nova Scotia

Habitat: rich hardwood intervale. Red maple, American ash, ironwood and shadbush were common trees.

Cardamine diphylla in Nova Scotia

Painted trillium was a common associated herb.

Cardamine diphylla in Nova ScotiaCardamine diphylla in Nova Scotia
Cardamine diphylla in Nova Scotia

Left: This intervale site was several kilometers downstream frm Smileys Park. Other species in the photograph include bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), horsetail (Equisetum) sp., and possibly dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis).

Selected Web Resources

Notes & References

  1. Roland, A.E., Zinck, M. & Owen, E. (1998). Roland's flora of Nova Scotia, 3rd Ed. Halifax: Nimbus & Nova Scotia Museum.