Botanical Name: Cardamine hirsuta
Common Names: Flickweed, Hairy Bittercress, Hoary Wood Cress, Common Bittercress
Flickweed is a fibrous rooting, rosette forming slender annual that grows to a height of around 30cm-40cm tall. It gets its name flickweed as when the seeds are ripe they explosively disperse from the main plant.
The stems of the plant are slender and mainly unbranched. They can range from reddish/purple near the base turning green the higher up the plant you go. The stems can be slightly hairy at the base becoming smoother nearer the top of the plant.
The Leaves form a rosette at the base with scattered hairs on the upper surface. The leaves alternate along the stem. The lower leaves on the plant are pinnate and between 2cm-10cm in size, with the terminal lobe on each being kidney shaped.
The flowers are small, white and around 0.3cm in size and are borne on a raceme. They are arranged in elongating clusters that are between 5cm-15cm in length.
The fruiting pod is 2cm long and around 0.1cm wide and have 2 compartments separated by a partition. When the seed is young the seed pod is green but as it matures the pod turns slightly yellow eventually splitting explosively releasing the seeds up to 2m from the original plant.
The seeds are brown,flat and are arranged in 1 line along the seed pod.Each seed is around 0.1cm in size.
The flowers and leaves of flickweed are edible and have a peppery taste. They make a great addition to any salads or added to soups or pies where your looking for a peppery kick. You could even be creative and make a peppery pesto or salsa.
Although Flickweek is exceptionally good for you as it is packed full of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and antioxidants there are no real known medicinal uses.