Lens-pod Whitetop
Cardaria chalapensis (L.) Hand.-Maz.
Family: Brassicaceae, Mustard
Genus: Cardaria
Synonyms: Cardaria draba ssp. chalapensis
Other names:
Nomenclature: chalapensis = of Halepa on the island Crete
Nativity / Invasiveness: noxious weed in Montana
No edibility data
No medicinal data

General: short-hairy to hoary-short-hairy, strongly rhizomatous perennial, often growing in colonies. Stems erect to creeping, 20-50 cm tall.

Leaves: several alternate on stem, ovate-oblong to oblong-oblanceolate, small-toothed, 4-10 cm long, the lower ones stalked, the upper ones stalkless and clasping, arrowlike, with backward-pointed lobes at base.

Flowers: numerous in dense top clusters, together forming a large, flat-topped cluster, without bracts at bases. Flower stalks slender, about 1 cm long. The 4 sepals about 2 mm long, elliptic, white-edged, blunt-tipped, falling off early. The 4 petals white, almost round, 3-4 mm long. April-August.

Fruits: pods, almost round in outline, not notched at base, not indented along the seam, inflated, 3-5 mm long, 4-6 mm broad, hairless. Style about 1 mm long. Seeds 1, rarely 2 per cell, about 2 mm long, not wing-margined, slimy on the surface when wet.


Widely distributed in old fields, along roadsides, etc, in w., s.c. and n.e. parts of MT. Also throughout much of the lowland of w. U.S., often becoming a noxious weed. Introduced from Europe.
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