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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Brassicaceae | Cardamine

Cardamine impatiens Linn.


Description from Flora of China

Cardamine basisagittata W. T. Wang; C. dasycarpa Marschall von Bieberstein; C. glaphyropoda O. E. Schulz; C. glaphyropoda var. crenata T. Y. Cheo & R. C. Fang; C. impatiens var. angustifolia O. E. Schulz; C. impatiens var. dasycarpa (Marschall von Bieberstein) T. Y. Cheo & R. C. Fang; C. impatiens subsp. elongata O. E. Schulz; C. impatiens var. eriocarpa de Candolle; C. impatiens var. fumaria H. Léveillé; C. impatiens var. microphylla O. E. Schulz; C. impatiens var. obtusifolia Knaf; C. impatiens var. pilosa O. E. Schulz; C. nakaiana H. Léveillé; C. senanensis Franchet & Savatier.

Herbs biennial or rarely annual, (12-)20-65(-90) cm tall, glabrous or rarely sparsely pubescent near base. Stems erect, simple at base, usually branched above, angled, sometimes flexuous. Basal leaves rosulate, often withered by flowering; petiole 1-4 cm, not auriculate; leaf blade pinnatisect and appearing compound. Cauline leaves to 15 per stem; petiole auriculate, 2-6 cm; auricles lanceolate or linear, 1-8(-10) × (0.1-)0.3-1.8(-2.2) mm, often ciliate; leaf blade (1-)3-18(-22) × (0.6-)1-5.5(-7) cm, pinnatisect; terminal lobe orbicular, obovate, ovate, or lanceolate, 1-4(-5) × 0.5-1.7 cm, with a petiolule to 5 mm, entire or obscurely to strongly 3-5(-9)-toothed or -lobed; lateral lobes (4-)6-11 on each side of midvein, oblong, lanceolate, or ovate, sessile or long petiolulate, smaller than terminal lobe, margin dentate, sublaciniate, or rarely entire; uppermost leaves with narrower segments. Fruiting pedicels divaricate or ascending, 3.5-12(-15) mm, slender. Sepals oblong, 1.2-2(-2.5) × 0.7-1(-1.2) mm. Petals white, oblanceolate, 1.5-4(-5) × 0.6-1.2 mm, rarely absent. Stamens 6; filaments 2-3(-4) mm; anthers ovate, 0.3-0.5 mm. Ovules 10-30 per ovary. Fruit linear, (1-)1.6-3(-3.5) cm × 0.9-1.5 mm; valves glabrous or rarely pilose, torulose; style 0.6-1.6(-2) mm. Seeds brown, oblong, 1.1-1.5 × 0.8-1 mm, compressed, sometimes apically narrowly winged. Fl. and fr. Feb-Jul. 2n = 16, 32.

The division of Cardamine impatiens into infraspecific taxa based on the size, shape, margin, and indumentum of leaf lobes is definitely artificial. Leaf characters do not correlate in any pattern with geographical distribution. In fact, some of the morphological extremes described as taxa native to Asia appear sporadically in the native European or naturalized American populations. The so-called var. dasycarpa, which was described from the Caucasus, represents a form that can be found within populations of typical C. impatiens. Furthermore, a critical evaluation of the type collections of C. basisagittata and C. glaphyropoda shows beyond doubt that they are merely minor variants of C. impatiens. Wang (Acta. Bot. Yunnan. 9: 16. 1987) designated Smith 2969 (UPS) as the lectotype of C. glaphyropoda, but the specimen at B would have been a more appropriate choice because it was annotated in Schulz's handwriting.

This species is used medicinally and as a source of seed oil.

Shady or moist slopes, streamsides, fields, roadsides; near sea level to 4000 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Japan, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Sikkim, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan; SW Asia, Europe; naturalized in S Africa and North America].


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