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Feb 15, 2006 TOOTHWORT
N. Walker

Toothwort, Cardamine diphylla (or Dentaria laciniata), is very prominent at the entrance to the wildflower trail at Cleermont street. Toothwort has different forms at Cave Mountain and Guntersville State Park. It is also related to Wintercress seen at Beaverdam Swamp.

Two-leafed Toothwort is perennial and grows to a height of 8 - 16 inches, from a long rhizome. The rhizome is brown, and not jointed. (see image 7) This Toothwort shoots up a main stem with two opposite leaf stems and a flower stem continuing on above. Each leaf stem has a deeply divided 3-part leaf (not a compound leaf). Each of the parts appears as an individual deeply toothed leaf that develops to about 3 inches long and 3/4 inches wide. A third leaf stem with a 3-part leaf grows from the flower stem slightly above the first opposite stem pair.

Numerous flowers are produced. on racemes at the top of the flower stem. The flowers open at staggered times and therefore prolong the blooming season. The flowers have four petals, other parts that are characteristic of the Mustard family.