Barestem Teesdalia, Shepherd's Cress
Synonym: Iberis nudicaulis
The photo above shows what might be shepherd's
cress. Photographed at Catherine Creek in the middle Columbia River Gorge
in late April, 2005.
photo at right shows the heart-shaped silicles of this species. Note how they
are obcompressed, and thus like shallow scoops. Photographed at Catherine Creek
in the middle Columbia River Gorge in late April, 2005.
Shepherd's cress is a small annual herb consisting of single
erect, simple to freely branched stem arising 5-25 cm high from a cluster of
basal leaves. The herbage of the stem and leaves is glabrous. Individual leaves
of the basal cluster of leaves are 1.5-5 cm long with long, slender petioles.
The blades range from simple with entire margins to pinnatifid with the terminal
segment the largest and the several to many lateral lobes smaller. The terminal
leaf segment generally is oval, obovate or oblanceolate in shape. The stem is
generally leafless, although one to several much-reduced leaves may ge found
The inflorescence is a raceme, generally dense upon first bloom,
then elongating as the fruit begin to mature. The slender pedicels are spreading
and about 4-8 mm long. The 4 sepals are about 0.5 mm long and often are purple-tinged.
The 4 white petals are about 1 mm long. Six stamens are present. The fruits
are small capsules or silicles from 3-3.5 mm long and not quite as wide. The
capsule valves are keeled and slightly winged, especially towards the distal
end. The style is ablsent from the capsule.
Shepherd's cress is an introduced species, which is a fairly
common weed in disturbed places, especially those which are sandy.
A European species, shepherd's cress may be found in the lowlands
to the west of the Cascade Mts. in Oregon and Washington.
In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found between the elevations
of 100'-2200' from east of the Sandy River east to near Catherine Creek.
The photo above shows the basal cluster of
leaves of this species. Note the large terminal segment of the leaf blades,
which ranges from entire to slightly lobed on the lower half to bearing larger,
more deeply cleft lobes. Photographed at Catherine Creek in the middle Columbia
River Gorge in late April, 2005.
The photo above show the entire plant of what
might be shepherd's cress. Note the basal leaf cluster and leafless scape, as
the thin taproot. Photographed at Catherine Creek in the middle Columbia River
Gorge in late April, 2005.
Sheperd's cress as seen in bloom along Minor Creek at the east side of Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge.......April 3, 2018.
Sheperd's cress as seen in bloom along Minor Creek at the east side of Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge.......March 12, 2014. Unfortunately, 2014 was a prolific bloom year for sheperd's cress at Catherine Creek, especially in the area burned by last summer's fire.
Basal leaves of sheperd's cress as seen along Minor Creek at the east side of Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge......March 12, 2014.