Index- plants in this Family
Brassicaceae / Mustard
Cutleaf Toothwort (Dentaria laciniata)
Cutleaf Toothwort is also known as Cardamine concatenata, Dentaria laciniata, Pepper Root..

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach 30cm in height (12inches). The shallow rhizome is in segments.
Leaves: The leaves are whorled. . There are usually three leaves, each generally has three parts often so deeply lobed and irregularly toothed that it appears to have five parts..
Flowers: The flowers have 4 Regular Parts and are up to 2cm wide (0.75 inches). They are white or very pale lavender sometimes light pink. Blooms first appear in late winter and continue into late spring.
Fruit: A silique.
Habitat: Woods
Range: Most of eastern and central North America.

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Often found growing in large groups in rich, moist, but often shallow soil. I often see it growing well in the humus and moss on the top of a flat rock in shaded woods.

Lore: The root has a peppery taste that the Native Americans relished and is still enjoyed by many people today. Although there are several historical mentions of medical uses for the roots, it's use as a food must have been primary. In Medicinal and other uses of North American Plants you will find mention or the root being pickled, fermented (to make them sweet), boiled and eaten raw with salt.

Similar Species: Other Toothworts include Pepper Root (C. Diphylla) which has two leaves divided into three ovate leaflets and Dentaria multifida which has leaves even more finely "cut".

See the links below this image for other images. (3)
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Canon Digital Rebel XT / 350D Camera, Canon EF180mm F/3.5L Macro USM Lens 1/25 Sec. f/5.0 ISO=100 Cedars of Lebanon State Forest, Wilson County, Tennessee, 3/11/2007
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Cutleaf Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) - flowers showing organs  © Daniel Reed
Cutleaf Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) - whroled leaves  © Daniel Reed
Cutleaf Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) - rizomes  © Daniel Reed

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves



Welcome / Glossary / Books / Links / Feedback / Image use policy - Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States, Page updated on 3/25/2009 8:39:20 AM. (Viewed date from local machine.)
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File date-25-Mar-09