Bitter Cress
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Bitter Cress
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Bitter Cress, Lesser Swinecress, Wart cress • Hindi: पित्तपापड़ा Pitpapra • Kannada: Gabbu kothambari • Urdu: जंगली हालोन Jangli halon جنگلی ھالون
Botanical name: Lepidium didymum    Family: Brassicaceae (Mustard family)
Synonyms: Coronopus didymus

Lesser Swinecress is a foul smelling plant. Stems trailing or rising up, multiple from the base, radiating from a central point, from a long taproot, to 30 cm long, herbaceous, smooth, green. Leaves are alternately arranged, stalked, pinnate, up to 4-5 cm long, 2 cm broad, hairless. Divisions of the leaves are opposite, lobed or divided again, pointed, linear-elliptic to linear oblong. Apices of ultimate divisions with a somewhat hardened point. There is a rosette of leaves at the base. Rosette leaves are stalked, 6-10 x 1.5-2 cm; stem leaves smaller, usually pinnately divided, rarely 2-pinnatifid, 1-4 x 0.5-1.5 cm. Small raceme up to 4 cm long, opposite one of the stem leaves, compact in flower, quickly elongating in fruit. Flowers are greenish, minute. Petals absent. Sepals 4, to 1 mm long, 0.75 mm broad. An objectionable flavor is found in the milk of dairy cattle which graze on pastures infested with Bitter Cress.

Identification credit: Anurag Rawat Photographed in Delhi.

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