Hairy Bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta


If you go out into your yard or garden, chances are that you find this plant in a pavement crack or in one of your plant pots. Hairy Bittercress is extremely common and is suprisingly tasty, having a slightly peppery, slightly bitter flavour. It's great as a cress substitute, so is wonderful in a soup or stew, or even on an egg mayo or roast beef sandwich. Hairy Bittercress grows is a mass of small ovate green leaves that forms a tight rosette. It's really easy to ID, and is available all year round.

Hairy Bittercress Checklist


🌳 Deciduous Woodland.
🌲 Coniferous Woodland.
πŸ‘ Grassland, including paddocks, fields and meadows.
🌊 Waterways, including rivers, lakes and streams.
🏑 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.
🏒 Urban Environments, wasteland, Streets and pavements.
🚜 Hedgerows, including field edges.


πŸŒΈπŸŒžπŸ‚β„οΈ Jan - Dec


☘️ Small, green, ovate and hairy. The leaves sprout from a central root and branch out to form a rosette. The leaves grow in pairs at opposite sides of the stem.


🌷 Tiny, delicate four-petalled white flowers sprout from a thin stem.

Fruit / Seeds

🍏 The seed pods resemble long thin pea pods and are green-brown in colour.

Edible Parts

☘️ Leaves
🌱 Stem

Aroma / Taste

πŸ‘ƒ Indistinct Aroma
πŸ‘… The leaves are mildly peppery, a little like Rocket.

ID Notes

🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
πŸ‘€ The ladder-like leaf stalks are a key identifier of this plant.


πŸ₯— Salad - Can be eaten raw and added to salads.
🌺 Garnish - is a great garnish in egg mayo sandwiches.
πŸ₯¬ Green - Can be cooked as a leaf vegetable.
🌿 Herb - Can be used to add a peppery flavour.