Bittercress

(Cardamine spp)

Type: Broadleaf

Control: Easy to control

 

Life cycle: winter annual; Most prolific from late fall through early spring. This weed is most problematic in propagation and overwintering. Despite being a winter annual, bittercress will germinate and grow throughout the year due to the cool environment provided by daily overhead irrigation.

Habit: Plants form a small mounded clump generally 4 to 8 inches tall and wide. However, during warm summer months, bittercress generally grow much smaller. Often, many seedlings germinate in a small area so that they appear as a large, dense mat.

Bittercress is one of the first broadleaf weeds to appear in NJ lawns during early spring. A member of the mustard family (Cruciferae), it can act as a winter or summer annual, or as a biennial. This weed can overwinter in a vegetative state, or it can germinate from seed during cool, moist conditions. Bittercress is a prolific seed producer, and can produce several generations during a single growing season. Identification features include a rosette of pinnately-compound leaves, with a terminal leaflet. Seedheads are erect, branching, and produce small (1/4 – 1/2 inch) white flowers at the ends of stems. After petals drop, long (1 inch), narrow pods form, and abruptly dehisce, shooting seeds two to three feet from the pod. Bittercress can be controlled with most conventional broadleaf herbicide mixtures.

 

 

 

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