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Cutleaf Toothwort is and early spring bloomer. I remember the first time I saw it. I wasn’t sure what it was but I knew the bees loved it. The bees were enjoying the plants immensely. This plant provides both pollen and nectar early in the spring.  Besides bees they attract other insects as well including the caterpillars of the Mustard White and Virginia White butterflies.


The tubular shaped flowers are white with pink tinges on the outer edges of the petals. It is a beautiful sight to behold when they cover the woodland floor. The leaves themselves are bright green and in a palm shape with deep clefts and finely cut margins.


The root are rhizomes shaped like dog’s canines, they are bright white and easy to separate.  They are held together like a string of beads. It is pretty easy to propagate by separating the rhizomes once it goes dormant. It goes dormant early in the season usually by the end of June. It uses the early spring light before the trees leaf out in the spring to flower and store energy for the following spring. It is truly remarkable adaptation many of our spring ephemerals have.


 Cutleaf Toothwort plants grow 3-12 inches tall. It will spread in the garden adding charm in the spring, It is not aggressive. It’s a great companion to other spring bloomers like trout lily, Trillium, and Merry bells. Cutleaf toothwort grows in rich woodland soil under deciduous trees. This is one reason to leave the leaves in the fall. As the leaves decay, they provide nutrients for woodland plants.

Cardamine concatenata - Cutleaf Toothwort

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  • -Charming pink tinged flowers early spring

    -Interesting leaves

    -Provides early spring nectar and pollen for bees and flies

    - The plant goes dormant by the end of June

    -Height: 3 to 12 inches tall

    -Zone: 3 to 8

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