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Cardamine diphylla facts for kids

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Cardamine diphylla
Toothwort (Dentaria diphylla).jpg
Scientific classification

Dentaria diphylla Michx.
Dentaria incisa Small

Cardamine diphylla (broadleaf toothwort, crinkle root, crinkle-root, crinkleroot, pepper root, twin-leaved toothwort, twoleaf toothwort, toothwort) is a plant native to North America.

Cardamine diphylla is a spring woodland plant that is found in most of eastern North America.


Its habitat ranges from Georgia north to Ontario and from the Atlantic to Wisconsin. It is found in moist woodlands usually in edge habitats and blooms from April to June. A member of the mustard family, it is typified by a four petal flower which blooms in a cluster on a single stalk above a single pair of toothed stem leaves each divided into three broad leaflets. After flowering, narrow seedpods appear just below the flower cluster. It grows approximately 30 cm (12 in) tall.

Butterfly habitat

The West Virginia white butterfly (Pieris virginiensis) lays its eggs on this plant as well as C. laciniata. The larvae also feed on this plant. As with Pieris oleracea, Pieris virginiensis mistakes garlic mustard for its host plants, making eradication of it important for their continued survival. Garlic mustard also competes with the plants for space and nutrients.

Use by Native Americans


The ground root is mixed with vinegar by the Algonquin people of Quebec and used as a relish. They also give an infusion to children to treat fevers, and use an infusion of the plant and sweet flag root to treat heart disease. The Cherokee use a poultice of the root for headaches, chew the root for colds and gargle an infusion for sore throats. The Lenape and Delaware Nation of Oklahoma use the roots as a stomach remedy.

The Iroquois would chew the raw root for stomach gas, apply a poultice of roots to swellings, take a cold infusion of the plant for fever


The Abenaki use it as a condiment. The Cherokee parboil and rinse the stems and leaves, add hot grease, salt & water & boiled them until they are soft as potherbs. They also use the leaves in salads, and smoke the plant. The Iroquois eat the roots raw with salt or boiled. The Ojibwa mix the roots with salt, vinegar, or sugar and use them as a condiment.

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