A native bittercress
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
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.
2n = 48
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2018 | Threatened – Nationally Critical
Previous conservation statuses
2017 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: CD, DP
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR, Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Data Deficient
Endemic to the eastern South Island. North-west Nelson and east of the main divide.
Mainly low alpine 900-1500m altitude. Usually in fellfield, on moraine or scree edges, or rock crevices, also damp places in tussock grassland.
Low-growing herb with single rosettes or in small clumps. Leaves deeply three lobed, sometimes with additional pair of leaflets; dull green to purplish, thin, fleshy, hairless. Flower stems sparsely branched, hairless, up to 30cm tall. Flowers large, white, about 8mm across, 4-petalled with 6 stamens. Seeds up to 1mm long, pale brown, oblong, in slender linear pods up to 2.5cm long.
Cardamine corymbosa Hook.f., and C. aff. bilobata. From C. corymbosa it differs by its larger fruits, and three lobed leaves. C. aff. bilobata differs by its entire, unlobed leaves.
January to February
January to February
Seeds are dispersed by ballistic projection, water and attachment (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh seed.
Based on herbarium evidence it would seem that the species was more widespread and common than it is now. Being a cress it is highly palatable, and it may have declined as a result of browsing pressure. The species is also considered to be quite elusive (P.B. Heenan pers. comm.) and is rarely seen even in apparently suitable habitat.
cardamine: From the Greek name kárdamon, referring to an Indian spice
Fact sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange for NZPCN (1 June 2013).
References and further reading
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 11(4): 285-309.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Cardamine bilobata Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/cardamine-bilobata/ (Date website was queried)