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Some authorities call this plant Dentaria diphylla Michx.
Rich Woods. Calcareous springy ground.
Quebec and New Brunswick west to MN, south to NC, GA, and AL.
Annual to perennial herb from a segmented rhizome, to 40 cm. Leaves usually two, appearing opposite, 3-parted; leaf segments broadly ovate, coarsely toothed, hairs of the margins appressed and about 0.1 mm long. Flowers in an erect raceme; petals 4, white to pink. Fruit straight, 2-4 cm long, many seeded, style persistent and forming a slender beak 6-8 mm long.
Flowers April to May
Wetland indicator: Facultative +
Another common name is crinkleroot. The beak-like remnant of the style on the fruit is characteristic of the Dentaria group (toothworts). Plants with narrower, laciniately toothed leaflets have been called Dentaria incisa. The roots have a pungent taste similar to horseradish, with a hint of paint thinner.
Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY
Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.
© Michael Hough 2004