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Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)
State Protection
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
Global Conservation Status Rank


State Ranking Justification

There are 8 extant occurrences and about 40 historical occurrences yet to be checked, probably not uncommon.

Conservation and Management



In New York purple cress has been found in a variety sites, generally with moist to wet, rich soils. These include wet places within upland deciduous forests, steambeds, alluvial woods and fields, swampy pastures, springs, and calcareous swamps (New York Natural Heritage Program 2010). Rich woods, bluffs, mesic bottomland forests, rocky hillsides, floodplains, seepage of bogs, springy areas (FNA 2010). Low rich deciduous woods, floodplains (Voss 1985).

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Floodplain forest* (guide)
  • Maple-basswood rich mesic forest* (guide)
  • Pastureland*
  • Rich mesophytic forest* (guide)

Associated Species

  • Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
  • Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
  • Cardamine concatenata (cut-leaved toothwort)
  • Carpinus caroliniana
  • Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh, late blue cohosh)
  • Chrysosplenium americanum (golden-carpet)
  • Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
  • Hepatica nobilis
  • Larix laricina (tamarack)
  • Lonicera tatarica (Tartarian honeysuckle)
  • Ostrya virginiana (hop hornbeam, ironwood)
  • Pinus strobus (white pine)
  • Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium)
  • Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)


New York State Distribution

Throughout the state.

Identification Comments

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification

Flowering individuals are best for identification.

Best Time to See

Flowering shoots appear in late April, and the fruits appear in early May. By July the fruiting stalks may start to disappear.

  • Flowering
  • Fruiting

The time of year you would expect to find Purple Cress flowering and fruiting in New York.


Purple Cress
Cardamine douglassii Britt.

  • Kingdom Plantae
    • Phylum Anthophyta
      • Class Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
        • Order Capparales
          • Family Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Comments on the Classification

The authority for this species is sometimes cited as "Torrey, in Torrey & A. Gray (1838)" however, Arabis douglassii was listed by Torrey as a synonym only.

Additional Resources


Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Voss, E.G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicotyledons. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1212 pp.

Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research University of South Florida]. New York Flora Association, Albany, New York


About This Guide

Information for this guide was last updated on: August 9, 2011

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. Online Conservation Guide for Cardamine douglassii. Available from: Accessed March 19, 2019.

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