- Erect, to 35 cm, green or sometimes purplish in strong sun, terete, typically multiple from the base, usually simple, glabrous or with sparse, spreading hairs near base.
- Basal leaves usually lush and numerous at flowering time, 3.0-10.0 cm long, short-petiolate, the petioles with spreading hairs, pinnately compoundwith 3-15 glabrous leaflets, the lateral leaflets circular to ovate or obovate, entire or with 1-3 irregular teeth, tapered to a sessile or short-stalked base, this not expanded along the rachis, the terminal leaflet usually broader than the lateral ones. Stem leaves 2-5, 1-5 cm long, pinnately compound with 5-15 leaflets, these linear to oblanceolate or oblong to ovate, sometimes hairy on the upper surface.
Base of petiole.
- Compact terminal racemes, elongating in fruit.
- Sepals 4, 1.0-2.5 mm long, green. Petals 4, 1.5-4.0 mm long, white. Stamens usually 4. Styles 0.1-0.6 mm long.
- Siliques 15-25 mm long, strongly ascending to erect. Seeds 0.9-1.3 mm long, oval to oblong in outline, the surface with a fine, netlike or honeycomb-like pattern of ridges and pits, orange.
- Other small-flowered members of the
- Steyermark's 1963
Flora of Missouri
listed this plant from only a single county in Missouri (Webster). By the time of Yatskievych's 1999 revision of that work, the plant had spread to over a dozen counties, though it was still described as "uncommon." As of this writing in 2019, the plant has been collected from 33 Missouri counties, predominantly in the southeastern half of the state. In most areas of east-central Missouri, the plant has become by far the most commonly encountered member of the genus. Fortunately, it tends to remain in highly disturbed habitats rather than badly invading intact natural communities. It is prevalent in much of the eastern U.S. and also occurs in western coastal states and Canada.
A confident determination of the small-flowered
species can be difficult. This plant is recognized by having a lush, rosette-like assemblage of lower leaves, which have nearly round leaflets and stiff, spreading hairs at the base of the petioles. The number of stamens is usually (but not always) 4, which differs from the 6 stamens normally found in other members of the genus. The fruits are generally held erect.
can flower when quite small. The picture below shows a tiny plant typical of how the species looks in an area that gets mowed or has poor soil.
Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 3-10-03 (DETenaglia); also at Little Lost Creek Conservation Area, Warren County, MO, 3-7-2012, and Weldon Spring Conservation Area, St. Charles County, MO, 3-31-2013 (SRTurner).
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This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of
Weeds of the U.S.
Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 655. 1753.
sparsely hirsute basally (at least on petiole of basal leaves), often glabrous distally.
erect, ascending, or decumbent, unbranched or branched basally and/or distally, (0.3-)1-3.5 (-4.5) dm, (not flexuous).
(persistent to anthesis), rosulate, (5-)8-15(-22)-foliolate, (2-)3.5-15(-17) cm, leaflets petiolulate; petiole 0.5-5 cm, (ciliate); lateral leaflet blade oblong, ovate, obovate, or orbicular, smaller than terminal, margins entire, repand, crenate, or 3-lobed; terminal leaflet (petiolule 0.2-1 cm), blade reniform or orbicular, 0.4-2 cm × 6-30 mm, margins entire, repand, dentate, or 3 or 5-lobed.
1-4(-6), compound as basal, petiolate, [(0.5-)1.2-5.5 (-7) cm, including petiole], leaflets petiolulate; blade base not auriculate; leaflets similar to basal.
erect to ascending, (2-) 3-10(-14) mm.
sepals oblong, 1.5-2.5 × 0.3-0.7 mm, lateral pair not saccate; petals (sometimes absent) white, spatulate, 2.5-4.5(-5) × 0.5-1.1 mm; (stamens usually 4, lateral pair often absent, rarely 5 or 6); filaments 1.8-3 mm; anthers ovate, 0.3-0.5 mm.
linear, (torulose), (0.9-)1.5-2.5(-2.8) cm × (0.8-)1-1.4 mm, (often appressed to rachis); ovules 14-40 per ovary; style 0.1-0.6(-1) mm.
light brown, oblong or subquadrate, 0.9-1.3(-1.5) × 0.6-0.9 (-1.1) mm, (narrowly margined).
Flowering Feb-Jul. Roadsides, clearings, disturbed sites, slopes, cedar glades, mixed woods, meadows, fields, waste grounds, damp places, grassy areas; 0-700 m; introduced; B.C., Ont.; Ala., Ark., Calif., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Va., Wash., W.Va.; w Eurasia; introduced also in Central America, South America, e Asia (Japan), South Africa, Australia.
Herbarium specimens of
have been misidentified as
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