Cut-leaved Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata)
FAMILY: Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)
FLOWERING PERIOD: Early March to late April
DESCRIPTION: Perennial arising from tubers, to 16 inches in height. Three cauline leaves, each deeply divided and usually prominently toothed. Conspicuous white (sometimes suffused with purple) four-petaled flowers in loose terminal raceme.
DISTRIBUTION: Common statewide, in all 88 counties.
HABITAT: At peak abundance in rich woods, but tolerant of some disturbance.
NOTES: Cut-leaved toothwort is an important early season nectar source for native pollinators. It is also a food plant for caterpillars of the Falcate Orangetip and West Virginia White butterflies. The spread of an invasive non-native mustard, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), has displaced lots of toothworts and other native wildflowers. Other guides may list this species under an old synonym, Dentaria laciniata.