Toothwort (Cardamine diphylia)

Cardamine 2016

Toothwort can be an evergreen perennial here in Georgia and it also makes an attractive ground cover in part-shade conditions.   It can grow to eight inches tall with white flowers in May.   It likes well drained soils and will be drought tolerant after it is established.   Cardamine will naturalize by rhizomes and will form colonies.   It is difficult to grow from seed.  You will find it on wooded slopes in rich humus soils.   There are several native medicinal plants with the name of Toothwort so you will need to pay attention to the botanical name.

The Cherokee had multiple medicinal uses for this toothwort or Cardamine.   They would make a poultice from the roots to apply to headaches.  Roots were chewed for colds.  A tea was make and gargled for sore throats.   They also fried the roots for food.

The Cardamine that we have at the Cherokee Garden is almost ready to bloom.   The lovely white flowers stand out against the dark green leaves.

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