This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek name of a cress). Cruciferae. Small mostly leafy-stemmed perennials (the annual species apparently not cultivated), growing in low rich land, blooming in spring or early summer.
Flowers sometimes large for size of plant, white or purple; petals obovate or spatulate: pods linear and straight, more or less flattened, the wingless seeds in 1 row, valves usually separating elastic-ally from the base: leaves simple or pinnate or lyrate: root often tuberous or rhizomatous. - About 50 species, largely in boreal or alpine regions. Of easy cultivation Only C. pratensis is much known among growers.
Linn. Cuckoo Flower. Fig. 792. Plant slender and usually glabrous, 12-20 in., somewhat branched: leaves pinnately divided; leaflets of root-leaves small and rounded (1/2in. or less across), those of the upper stem - leaves oblong or even linear and entire or somewhat toothed: flowers 1/2in. long, in a corymb, white or rose-color, pretty. Eu. and Amer., in the northern parts. - In the gardens it is chiefly known in the double-flowered form, which probably has been derived from European rather than American sources. There are other forms of it. It is an excellent little plant to grow in moist places, particularly along creeks and about springs. It is also useful in drier places, as in rockeries.
Fig. 792. Cardamine pratensis. Root-leaves not showing.
Linn. Attractive spring bloomer, 6 in., creeping: leaves ternate, the toothed parts or segments irregularly roundish: flowers snow-white, on a naked scape. S. Eu. B.M. 452.
Hook. Erect, 1-2 ft. high: leaves 3-5-folio-late, the leaflets ovate or oblong, and the middle one usually coarsely toothed: flowers rather large, white, in short, few-flowered racemes. Mts. of Ore. and Wash. - introduced 1881 by Gillett.
L. H. B