Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) a new herb for my salads, herbal butter and soups

Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) a new herb for my salads, herbal butter and soups

This one I have always weeded out until one day I tasted it. Rather sharp, but pleasantly sharp. Well, it belongs to the same family like rocket or radish, so no wonder. It is a tiny plant. Sometimes not bigger than a hand. In spring the whole plant is tender, this I and it as a whole to my salad. It looks nice with tiny blossoms and a rosette of leaves. Later in the year the stem becomes rather robust and hard, so I leave it out. 

I have read that it is good for health as it contains vitamin C, Beta Carotene and lutein which is known to be helpful for reducing vision problems and for preventing cataracts. Prevention - this is what I like!

It is already growing in my still not used greenhouse together with other useful weeds like chickweed, dead nettle...I am busy eating it out before I need space for tomatoes and cucumbers. 

I add it to my salad, soups, herbal butter...

Have you already been using this plant?


  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jolanta.wittib Thank you, This is a plant I am not familiar with.

    I love new plant ideas. I'll check with my nature loving friends and see if they know where any grows

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It looks similar, but not quite the same as shepherd's purse.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,349 admin

    @Tave The plants are quite similar but the clear difference is in the seed capsules. This one has long and slim ones, the shepherds purse is like a little heart. But both are eatable. Both are good for you.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,285 admin

    Funny, I was just thinking about this plant...

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,349 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 it is a delicious plant and quite a spicy one

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,407 admin

    After a bit of research, I discovered that we have 17 species of Cardamine here in BC, most being native. However, C. hirsuta is an introduced species. Most are further south than I am, including this species. But we do have one that is more common in my area. Cardamine oligosperma or Little Western Bitter-cress. I have never used it before but will be looking for it to add to my salads in a few weeks. When it quits snowing. :)