Cardamine concatenata (Cutleaf Toothwort)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Brassicaceae (Mustard)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade; rich moist woods, stream banks
Bloom season:April - May
Plant height:8 to 16 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 4-petals Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] A single raceme of stalked flowers at the top of the plant, the flower stalks ascending to spreading to drooping, the flowers often nodding. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across when fully open, have 4 white to pale pinkish petals each 1 to 2 cm long, and 6 yellow stamens. The 4 sepals at the base of the flower are much shorter than the petals, green to purplish and paler around the edges. Sepals and flower stalks are hairless.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf attachment: whorl Leaf type: compound Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: palmate

[photo of leaves] Leaves are basal, with flowering stems also having 2 or 3 stem leaves arranged oppositely (when 2) or whorled (3), though not all plants produce flowering stems. All leaves are similar, palmately compound with 3 leaflets, the leaflets mostly oblong-ellipitc in outline, to 3 inches (2.5 to 6 cm) long, usually with several large teeth or narrow lobes along the edges and commonly with larger lobes near the base so may appear to be 5 or more leaflets. Compound leaves are stalked, leaflets are stalkless. Leaves and stems are hairless though the upper stem may have sparse hairs.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a straight, slender pod up to 1½ inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm) long, held ascending to spreading.


Cutleaf Toothwort, known as Dentaria laciniata in some references, is one of our early spring woodland bloomers, found in moist deciduous woods in about half the state. Its leaves are pretty distinctive so is not likely to be confused with other species.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, Minneapolis. Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken at Eloise Butler and in Anoka County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Jackie - Maple Plain
on: 2010-04-13 21:25:32

I saw many of these in Maple Plain, Minnesota yesterday (04.12.10) in the Baker Park Reserve. They were right off the road in the maple/basswood forest. Use extreme caution if looking...there are several ephemerials blooming including wild leeks, wild ginger, and bloodroot. They are fragile. First time I have ever seen them!

Posted by: Mary - Prior Lake Mn, Three Rivers Park (undeveloped)
on: 2012-04-28 10:51:26

There is a good amount of them off the trail in Three Rivers Park in Prior Lake so on to be developed. They are now not in full bloom. Hopefully when they develop the park they will not disturb them. There were masses of them and they are off the trail. Such a beautiful sight.

Posted by: Art and Barb - Nicollet County, near Nicollet, MN
on: 2016-04-18 08:39:36

04/16/16... While birding for Yellow-headed blackbirds near Swan Lake a few miles northeast of Nicollet, we followed a gravel 'public access' road through the swamps, came upon a small hardwood forest. Without stepping out of the car, one could observe the ephemerals spread across the shaded floor of the forest. After 75 years in the woodlands, this was our first encounter with the beautiful plant.

Posted by: Dee B - Madison Lake
on: 2017-04-25 15:26:39

4/23/17 We saw a lot these flowers along the Sakatah Bike Trail in Sakatah State Park by Waterville.

Posted by: Laurie O - Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park
on: 2017-05-04 07:01:11

Saw a bunch of these along the trail starting at the trailhead off of Aqua Rd.

Posted by: Jessica - Byron
on: 2018-05-02 15:24:54

Found several patches of these in Oxbow Park today (Zumbro Trail). Most were not flowering yet, but a few were!

Posted by: Jane h - Wis. North central. Near high point in Price county
on: 2018-05-11 18:12:03

Spotted in the woods near Timms Hill the highest point in Wisconsin

Posted by: Irene - Rochester - Quarry Hill Nature Center
on: 2018-05-14 22:26:05

Several patches of these in the moist wooded areas. Many in bloom.

Posted by: Kate Clover - Nerstrant Woods SP
on: 2019-05-05 19:03:20

scattered patches, blooming at the end of the trout lily season

Posted by: Tyler Pieper - Victoria, MN
on: 2019-05-12 20:31:44

Was walking with my wife in Carver Park Reserve and observed many colonies in full bloom in wooded area (before we were told to "Get Out!" by nesting bald eagles).

Posted by: Ann - on the luce line trail between Willow Dr and Old Crystal Bay
on: 2020-04-18 09:15:25

also spring rue anemone

Posted by: Ron Johannsen - Trenton Lake
on: 2020-04-28 08:40:25

April 28th 2020 Cut Leaf Toothwort blooming, with Dutchman’s, Hepaticas, Buttercups, Adders tongue and others. Thanks

Posted by: Daniela Bell - Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
on: 2020-05-01 09:09:03

abundantly flowering on Hidden Falls trail, along with Dutchman's Breeches, Bellwort, Spring Beauty, Ginger, False Rue Anemone, Bloodroot, Marsh Marigold and of course the White Trout Lily and Dwarf Trout Lily. Truly a spectacular sight.

Posted by: Ron Johannsen - Trenton Lake, Freeborn
on: 2021-04-15 19:20:18

Millions blooming now.

Posted by: Kristy Cowdin - Nicollet, Minnesota
on: 2021-04-20 10:14:13

Carpeting the woodland floor on the east side of Middle Lake 1 mile NE of Nicollet. Perhaps it's not supposed to be eaten, but it has a very pleasant, subtle brassica flavor. (04/20/2021)

Posted by: Karen - Circle Pines Anoka County
on: 2021-05-02 09:12:07

These were blooming in partly shaded areas near the walking trail in Keller Woods near Circle Pines on May 1.

Posted by: Curtis - Eden Prairie
on: 2024-04-30 15:36:12

These are just starting to bloom at M.T. Anderson Conservation Area. There are several large patches but only a few are blooming.

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