Cardamine latior


Cardamine: From the Greek name kárdamon, referring to an Indian spice

Common Name(s)

Auckland Islands bitter cress

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - IE, OL
2009 - RR, OL


Cardamine latior Heenan



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites


None. First described in December 2008


Endemic. Auckland Islands (Auckland and Adams Islands)


Recorded growing among boulders and fellfield, particularly at higher altitudes on mountain top screes


Perennial herb, caespitose, with many leaves forming a small, compact rosette. Leaves pinnate, up to 40–50 mm long, glabrous, green, ± coriaceous; petiole 8–12 mm long, 1.7–1.8 mm wide, winged and sheathing at base. Leaflets 11–15, in pairs and usually overlapping in distal part of leaf, alternate and distant in lower part of leaf, reniform, orbicular to broadly elliptic, hydathodes prominent on margin and in axil of petiolule, margin entire, base cordate, ± truncate to obtuse, apex obtuse to rounded; terminal leaflet lamina 3.5–4.7 × 3.5–4.1 mm, with 2 conspicuous lateral lobes; lateral leaflet lamina 1.5–2.5 × 0.7–2.2 mm; petiolules up to 0.5 mm long, often ± absent. Cauline leaves occasionally present subtending only the lower 1–2 flowers; similar to rosette leaves, but with fewer leaflets and smaller in all parts. Inflorescence usually up to 50 mm long, occ. 145 mm in sheltered sites, 1.2–1.6 mm diam. at base, glabrous, compact and not elongating after flowering, fastigiate, racemose, flowers usually crowded in upper half. Pedicels 5–10(–17) mm long, 0.8–1.2 mm diam., usually erect. Sepals 2.0–2.4 × 0.7–1.2 mm, oblong to elliptic, glabrous, margin white and membranous, apex obtuse to rounded, base truncate. Petals 3.2–4.0 × 1.2–1.5 mm, white, pale pink or purple, limb obovate; apex obtuse to rounded; base cuneate to attenuate, tapering to an indistinct claw. Filaments 6, 1.6–2.4 mm long; anthers 0.4–0.5 mm long. Ovary 1.5–2.6 mm long, 0.5–0.6 mm diam., terete, glabrous; stigma 0.3–0.5 mm diam. Siliques 12–23 × 1.7–2.2 mm, crowded, erect, beak 0.7–1.4 mm long; replum 0.9–1.1 mm wide; septum with a prominent central vein. Seeds 1.4–2.1 mm long, 1.1–1.5 mm wide, 0.4–0.5 mm thick, rounded or oblong, red-brown.

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from the Campbell Island endemic Cardamine subcarnosa by shorter leaves with more leaflets, leaflets that overlap, more prominent leaf margin and axil hydathodes, short inflorescences, distinctly erect and broader siliques, and the septum with a distinct central vein.


October – December

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White


October – February

Propagation Technique

Not known from cultivation. Probably easy but likely to dislike high temperatures and humidity


Rated as Naturally Uncommon because this species is naturally confined to a restricted geographic area of <1000 km²

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Seeds are dispersed by ballistic projection, water and attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not Commercially Available


Description from: Heenan (2008)

References and further reading

Heenan, P.B. (2008). N.Z.Journal of Bot. 46(4): 559–566

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 25 May 2014