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bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

Seed pods on bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) are called siliques.  Each silique generate about 30 seed, and each bittercress plant can generate up to 5000 seed per plant (Bachman and Whitwell, 1995, SNA Proceedings, pg.288-290).

bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

Bittercress are generally easy to control with preemergence herbicides.  However, because one weed can generate so many seed, failure to use or properly time herbicide applications can result in rapid infestation.  This is why bittercress tends to be more problematic in propagation (where herbicides are not used) and during overwintering.

A silique is defined as "a dry, dehiscent fruit of the Cruciferae, typically more than twice as long as wide, with two valves separating from the persistent placentae and septum." (Harris and Harris, 2001, Plant Identification Terminology).  

bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)

Notice the number of siliques (seed pods) on a single bittercress plant.  It is easy to see how these plants can quickly infest a container yard.





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