Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cutleaf Toothwort

Photo taken 3/16/08

Cutleaf Toothwort

Other Common Names: Pepper Root
My best guess at an ID: Cardamine concatenata
Plant family: Brassicaceae (Mustard)
Habitat: Woodlands
Range: Throughout eastern and central North America
Plant Type: Native perennial
Lore: The roots (rhizomes) are said to have a peppery taste and can be eaten pickled, fermented (to make them sweet), boiled and eaten raw with salt. I haven't done a taste test.

This plant is the most prolific early-blooming wildflower in our woods. It doesn't have the most showy bloom, but is appreciated for it's abundance when little else is blooming. Cutleaf Toothwort is currently blooming throughout our woods.



Lana Gramlich said...

I have field guides coming out my wazoo & I still find it virtually impossible to identify most of the wildflowers in my area. How do you do it?

Tom said...

I would have to get someone to taste test it for me.. :O) Me and my mate Peter are always telling each other that it is each others turn.. ha!.
My Land Rover would serve you quite well... or one much like it.. even a older Whilly's Jeep would come in handy.. no comfort mind.. but it would get you from A to B in a fun mudsplashed way at times.

Tom Arbour said...

Marvin- I must say you are really stealing us northerner's thunder here. What am I going to blog about once our wildflowers start blooming!



smilnsigh said...

Toothwort! Now that is a NAME!

How do you know the names of all your native growing things? I'd never know what I saw. Other than it was a little flower and would make me happy to see it. :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't eat cutleaf but the other toothwarts I do eat raw when out in the field! Taste very good!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am a big chicken to eat most things out of the wild. I never know what is safe. It is beautiful though.

Marvin said...

When I'm attempting an ID start with a field guide (or 2 or 3)and try to determine at least a common name or genus. Then I go online and try to narrow down the ID as much as possible. Keeping the guides (hardcopy and online) as local as possible helps narrow down the search. It helps to be a tad obsessive. I sometimes spend hours over the course of several days working on an ID. And, sometimes I'm wrong.

"Toothwort" is a purely descriptive name. It's leaves are toothed (or notched) and it is a wort (a herbaceous plant).

I can see that's I'm going to have to sample some toothwort.

Anonymous said...

This is a nice shot. The leaf is interesting. Reminds me of two other plants. One legal and one not.

Have a nice weekend.

Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio.

Lana Gramlich said...

Thanks for the info. I just so often find it so impossible, myself. Although the internet's a great resource, it's just too huge of a field guide, y'know? And if you're not even sure where to start, forget it!
Kudos to you, at any rate!