This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Annual or biennial maritime herbs, with simple alternate mostly fleshy leaves, and white or rarely purplish or yellowish racemose flowers. Silicle inflated, oblong or globose. Valves very convex, dehiscent. Stigma nearly simple, or capitate. Seeds several in each cell of the pod, usually in 2 rows, marginless. Cotyledons mainly accumbent. [Greek, spoon, from the shape of the leaves.]
A genus of about 25 species, all natives of the colder parts of the north temperate zone. Besides the following, about three others are found on the arctic and northern Pacific coasts of North America. Type species: Cochlearia officinalis L.
Cochlearia officinalis L. Sp. Pl. 647. 1753.
Cochlearia oblongifolia DC. Syst. Veg. 2: 363. 1821.
Diffuse, branching, glabrous, somewhat fleshy, the branches 6'-12' long. Lower leaves long-petioled, oblong, orbicular or reniform, obtuse, 1/2'-1' long, dentate or entire; upper leaves ovate or oblong, sessile or short-petioled; flowers white, 2"-3" broad; petals emarginate, or entire, thrice as long as the calyx; raceme elongating in fruit; pedicels ascending, 3"-4" long in fruit; pods globose or ovoid, 2"-3" long, smooth or reticulated; valves convex, strongly I-nerved; style 1/2" long.
Along seacosts and rivers, Anticosti to Greenland and arctic America generally. Also in arctic Europe and Asia. Summer. A valued antiscorbutic salad.
Cochlearia dßnica L., Danish scurvy-grass, of the arctic coasts of America and Europe, differs in having the stem-leaves deltoid to hastate, all but the uppermost slender-petioled, and ranges south to Newfoundland.