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

Cardamine bellidifolia L.
alpine bittercress (alpine bitter-cress)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23795)

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Distribution of Cardamine bellidifolia
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Species Information

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More or less tufted, perennial herb from a taproot and often a branched stem-base with somewhat rhizome-like branches, leaf bases persistent; stems several, few-leaved, 2-10 cm long, glabrous.
Basal leaves in rosettes, thick, fleshy, entire or shallowly 1-3 lobed, blades 5-30 mm long, diamond-shaped to elliptic to egg-shaped, narrowed to slender stalks 2-4 times as long; stem leaves 0-3, reduced.
Inflorescence a few-flowered, umbel-like raceme; flower stalks 4-10 mm long, ascending; petals white, 3-5 mm long; sepals 1.5-2 mm long.
Siliques, erect, 1.5-3.5 cm long, 1-1.5 mm wide; styles stout, 1-3 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist scree slopes, gravelly areas and mossy rocks in the upper montane to alpine zones; frequent in N BC, rare southward and on Vancouver Island; circumpolar, E to NF and S to ME, NH and N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Cardamine bellidifolia

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) 1330 1762 2590
Slope Gradient (%) 2 21 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 77 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 5
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: BAFA(17), cma(1), ESSF(1), IMA(2)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References