Plants form a small mounded clump generally 4 to 8 inches tall and wide. However, during warm summer months, bittercress generally grow much smaller. Often, many seedlings germinate in a small area so that they appear as a large, dense mat. Several branched, smooth stems emerging from the soil line. Leaves radiate from the base of the stem, forming a rosette. Each leaf generally contains 4 to 8 leaflets arranged alternately along the rachis.
Flowers occur in racemes. Each flower has 4 white petals, generally 3 to 5 mm in diameter.
Favorable environment notes:
Bittercress thrives in moist environments, such as propagation benches and flats, greenhouse floors, gravel container areas, landscape areas; any areas that receive consistent moisture. Bittercress will germinate and grow throughout the year due to the cool environment provided by daily irrigation in container crops.
Each leaf generally contains 4 to 8 leaflets arranged alternately along the rachis.
Seed or Seed pods:
Seed pods of bittercress are known as siliques, in fact, seed pods of all plants in the mustard family are considered siliques. Siliques are a dry, two-sided, dehiscent fruit.
Cotyledon or Seedlings:
Cotyledons are round, and first true leaves are often simple and club-shaped (same general shape as leaflets on older foliage).
Bittercress and aphids:
As if bittercress weren't bad enough by itself, it also is a refuge for aphids.
It has been reported that bittercress plants are capable of producing over 5000 seed, most of which can germinate within 2 weeks after being dispersed. Seeds that don't land in pots or geminate can easily spread via irrigation or rain runoff, on the soles of workers' shoes, or they can be transported on unwashed pots. Early detection of bittercress is important because herbicides are most effective at the seedling stage. If seedlings are present, they can also serve as a host for aphids. As stated previously, sanitation is an essential component to managing bittercress in the nursery setting.