Hairy Bitter-cress

Cardamine hirsuta

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Hairy Bitter-cress


Hairy Bitter-cress is a common, edible weed of rocky areas, walls, gardens and cultivated ground which flowers almost all year-round. This plant self-pollinates; when the seeds are ripe they burst from their pods and can be dispersed up to a metre away in all directions, especially if the plants are shaken by the wind. New seedlings tend to grow in summer and early winter.

How to identify

Living up to its name, Hairy Bitter-cress is small and hairy, with a rosette of leaves at its base and small white flowers present for most of the year.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Gathering wild food can be a satisfying experience and provides a chance to learn about our native plants. However, if you do fancy giving it a go, remember that it is an offence to totally uproot a wild plant and please just take what you need, leaving some for the wild creatures, too. Don't eat anything you can't identify, either - it could make you very ill. To find out more about wild plants, both edible and not, why not come along to a Wildlife Trust event? From fungi forays to woodland walks, there's plenty of variety for everyone and lots of opportunities to learn more about the natural world and your local patch.

Species information

Common name
Hairy Bitter-cress
Latin name
Cardamine hirsuta
Height: up to 30cm
Conservation status