(Printer Friendly Version-pdf-105 KB) (Download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Photo: Cardamine longii

Cardamine longii Fern.

Long's Bitter-cress

Habitat: Tidal estuary. [Tidal wetland (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Local, along the coastal plain, from Maine to Virginia.

Photo: Cardamine longii in tidal habitat

Aids to Identification: Saltmarsh bitter-cress is a weak-stemmed herb growing from fibrous roots to a height of 10-30 cm. All the leaves grow on leaf-stalks, the flowers have no petals, and the fruits are divergent. This species is easily distinguished from the similar Alpine bitter-cress (C. bellidifolia) by the difference in habitat.

Ecological characteristics: In Maine this species typically grows on sandy muck and cobbles.

Photo: Cardamine longii in tidal habitat

Phenology: Flowers June - September.

Family: Brassicaceae

Synonyms: None noted.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 7 towns in the following counties: Hancock, Lincoln, Sagadahoc.

Dates of documented observations are: 1890, 1921, 1925, 1979, 1981, 1984 (2), 1985 (3), 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 (2), 1998 (2), 1999, 2000, 2002.

Reason(s) for rarity: Scarce throughout its range.

Conservation considerations: Prevent degradation of marsh and estuary habitat from adjacent land uses.