E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Cardamine occidentalis (S. Watson ex B.L. Rob.) Howell
western bitter-cress (big western bittercress)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29497)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Cardamine occidentalis
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Species Information

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General:
Perennial herb from a short, slender rhizome; stems 1-1.5 mm thick, enlarged and tuberous near base of leafy stems, 20-40 cm tall, simple to freely branched, erect to decumbent and rooting at nodes, glabrous to sparsely hairy.
Leaves:
Basal leaves few, slender-stalked, pinnate, lateral lobes (2) 4-6, egg-shaped to heart-shaped, short-stalked to unstalked, 3-8 mm long, generally entire, terminal lobe 1-2 cm long, shallowly wavy-margined; stem leaves several, upper ones unstalked to nearly unstalked, fewer lateral lobes, narrowly egg-shaped to linear, mostly 1-2 cm long, entire or slightly toothed, terminal leaflet egg- to wedge-shaped, 1.5-3 cm long.
Flowers:
Inflorescence an elongate raceme, without bracts; flower stalks ascending, 10-15 mm long; petals white, 3.5-5 mm long; sepals 1-2 (2.5) mm long.
Fruits:
Siliques, erect, 2-3 cm long, 1-1.5 mm wide; styles about 1 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist streambanks and lakeshores in the lowland zone; infrequent in SW BC; N to AK and S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Cardamine occidentalis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 5 619 1530
Slope Gradient (%) 0 11 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
18 56 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 5 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
D
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
47
Modal BEC Zone Class
CDF
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(13), CWH(11), ESSF(3), ICH(7), IDF(1), MH(4), MS(1), SBS(7)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cardamine pratensis var. occidentalis S. Watson ex B.L. Rob.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References