Hairy Bittercress Locked and Loaded

— Written By and last updated by Jami Hooper
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As of mid-February in Craven County, I’m noticing that the hairy bittercress plants (Cardamine hirsuta) on the grounds of the Agricultural Building are flowering and beginning to develop their unique, slender seed pods. When mature, these touch-sensitive seedpods project or launch seeds away from the plants, leading to dense mats of multiple plants in turf or landscape beds.

Hand-pulling is an effective way to reduce the population in your landscape, but it’s important to get started prior to seed production. Otherwise, you’re helping to spread the seeds every time you pull up a plant. Another option is to harvest and eat the plants. No guarantees on the taste – but hairy bittercress is a member of the mustard family, and is edible.

Visit the Cardamine hirsuta page for more information.

hairy bittercress

“Foliage of hairy bittercress, 2/13/19, Craven County”.

hairy bittercress seedpods

“Immature seedpods of hairy bittercress, 2/13/19, Craven County”.