[The Toothworts of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Oaks Toothwort, Nuttall's Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty

Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii

Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella

Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

A close-up of the attractive flowers of oaks toothwort as seen on high cliffs at about the one mile mark along the Eagle Creek Trail, Columbia River Gorge.............March 26, 2012.

Characteristics:

Oaks toothwort is an interesting native wildflower with rhizomatous growth and erect stems from 10-30 cm tall. It is a perennial. The herbage is smooth to sparsely hairy. The leaves are long-petiolate, and on this variety, they are usually palmately or pinnipalmately compound with 3-7 leaflets as seen in the photo at right. There may be 1-3 stem leaves found above mid stem, each being compound with 3-5 thin leaflets.

The racemes are few-flowered, with the flowers erect or ascending. The 4 purplish sepals are 3-5 cm long, while the 4 petals range from 9-14 mm long. The petals are generally pink, red, or purplish. The siliques are 1.5-5 cm long and about 1.5 mm wide.


Varieties of this Species:

I believe that both of the following varieties of toothwort are now lumped within Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii. I've included these varietal divisions as several popular books for this region still use this terminology.

variety pulcherrima - The basal leave are at leas in part somewhat palmately to pinnipalmately compound with 3-7 leaflets, the blades deeply lobed to dissected.

variety tenella - The basal leaves are typically simple and rotund or a rounded hear-shape. If more deeply lobed, the lobes are entire or almost so.


Habitat:

Oaks toothwort is found in moist spring soil in open forests (under Oregon white oak in the gorge).


Range:

Oaks Toothwort is found from the Olympic Peninsula and Mt. Rainier south to Southwestern Oregon. In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found from about the Wind River east to about Horsethief Butte, between the elevations of 100'-2500'.


Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Flowers of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

Oak toothwort as seen in oak forest along the Dog Mountain Trail in the Columbia River Gorge..........May 4, 2011.

Basal leaf of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Petals and sepals of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

A basal leaf (left) and underside of the dark-veined petals and round-tipped sepals (right) of oak toothwort as seen in oak forest atop the Columbia Hills to the north of The Dalles, OR............April 7, 2007.

Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Basal leaves of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Upper stem leaves and inflorescence of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

Close-ups of newly blooming oak toothworts as seen in talus under oak forest at Catherine Creek, central Columbia River Gorge..........March 7, 2011.

Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

Several oaks toothworts in bloom (left) under the oak forest along Dillacort Creek, Klickitat River drainage.........April 3, 2011. The photo at right shows oak toothwort as seen along the Hamilton Mountain Trail, Beacon Rock State Park............March 30, 2016.

Basal leaves of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Flower of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Close-up of a flower of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

A close-up of the attractive flowers of oaks toothwort as seen on high cliffs at about the one mile mark along the Eagle Creek Trail, Columbia River Gorge.............March 26, 2012.

Flowers of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Inflorescence of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Inflorescence and stem leaves of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

Oak toothworts blooming along the Memaloose Trail in oak forest about midway between the Marsh Cutoff and Dell Roads, Wasco County, OR........March 16, 2016.

Inflorescence of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

The photo above shows the inflorescence of oak toothwort as seen in oak forest atop the Columbia Hills to the north of The Dalles, OR.........April 7, 2007.

Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

Oak toothwort beginning to bloom under the oak trees at the base of the arch, Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge.........March 12, 2013.

Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Leaves of Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

Oak toothwort blooming (left) under oak trees along the Memaloose Trail west of Marsh Cutoff Road, Columbia River Gorge.........March 23, 2014. The photo at right shows the leaves of oak toothwort as seen along the Memaloose Loop Trail..........March 2, 2016.

Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella) - Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

Oak toothwort beginning to bloom at left in oak woods along the Rowena curves of the Old Highway about one-quarter mile west of Rowena, Oregon...........March 3, 2015. The photo at right shows early blooming oak toothworts as seen at the Klickitat Breaks, Klickitat Wildlife Area.......April 2, 2017.

Nuttall's Toothwort, Oak Toothwort, Slender Toothwort, Spring Beauty: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii (Synonyms: Cardamine nuttallii var. covilleana, Cardamine nuttallii var. dissecta, Cardamine pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. pulcherrima, Cardamine pulcherrima var. tenella, Dentaria tenella, Dentaria tenella var. pulcherrima, Dentaria tenella var. quercetorum, Dentaria tenella var. tenella)

Oak toothwort as seen at Brooks Memorial State Park, northern Klickitat County, WA..........April 28, 2014.

Paul Slichter