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

Cardamine breweri S. Watson
Brewer's bitter-cress
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Cardamine breweri
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a rhizome; stems erect to spreading or nearly prostrate, simple to freely branched, 20-60 cm tall, glabrous or sparsely hairy near base.
Basal leaves few, simple, blades 1-3 cm long, heart- to kidney-shaped or egg-shaped, shallowly wavy-margined and lobed; stem leaves compound with 2-4 (6) lanceolate to egg-shaped lateral lobes, the terminal lobe heart-shaped to egg-shaped to widely lanceolate, wavy-margined and toothed to shallowly lobed.
Inflorescence a few-flowered raceme; flower stalks 5-20 mm long, ascending; petals white, spoon- to egg-shaped, 3-6 mm long; sepals 1.5-2.5 mm long.
Siliques, erect, 2-3 cm long, 1-1.5 mm wide; styles 0.5-2 mm long.
Two varieties occur in BC:

1. Terminal lobes of lower stem leaves heart-shaped at base..................var. orbicularis (Greene) Detl.

1. Terminal lobes of lower stem leaves cuneate or rounded at base....................... var. breweri

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist streambanks, shallow ponds and lakesides in the lowland and montane zones; infrequent in S BC; S to WY, NV and N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Cardamine breweri

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




Elevation (metres) 20 462 2337
Slope Gradient (%) 0 9 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
100 210 290
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 6 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(14), ESSF(3)


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 temperate & cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References