Brewer's bittercress is a perennial wildflower of wet places. It is erect to spreading or even prostrate in habit with slender rhizomes up to 2 mm thick which root freely. The glabrous to sparsely haired flowering stems are 10-60 cm long. The simple leaves are basal with an orbicular to kidney shape. They measure 1-3 cm long with heart-shaped bases and shallow lobed margins. The stem leaves are 3-5 foliate with the terminal leaflet the largest. The lobes of the stem leaves are lanceolate to ovate in shape. The surfaces of all the leaves are glabrous to sparsely haired.
The inflorescence is a few-flowered raceme of white flowers. The pedicels are 5-20 mm long and the sepals measure 1.5-2.5 mm long. The petals are spatulate-obovate in shape and measure 3-7 mm long. The fruits are siliques from 2-3 cm long and held erect on the spreading pedicels. Individual siliques measure 2-3 cm long and 1-1.5 mm wide and are linear in shape.
Brewer's bittercress is a plant of wet places including seeps and streams.
Brewer's bittercress may be found from Alaska south through British Columbia to the Pacific Northwest and hence across much of the western United States. Variety orbiculatus may be found east of the Cascade Mts. from central Washington south to central Oregon and east to Nevada and Wyoming.