Two leaf toothwort - aka- crinkle root (Cardamine diphylla)
At first glance, this seems like a mistaken name, but from the root rises two leaves with three coarsely toothed leaflets on each.
This toothwort blooms a few weeks to a month later than the earlier cutleaf toothwort.
A native species of the eastern half of the US, this spring ephemeral thrives in rich woods and moist soil. The Cherokee made a poultice of the roots to treat headaches.
This flower is an important host for the native West Virginia White butterfly (often mistaken for the non-native Cabbage White). After hatching, the caterpillars feast of the leaves of this plant, however, since the introduced Garlic Mustard is overtaking our woodlands, the WVW has begun laying eggs on the Garlic Mustard, after they hatch, the caterpillars can't survive on the garlic mustard leaves and die. This has caused a large decline in the WVW populations.
The Cherokee made a poultice of the roots to treat headache.
Use Wildlife: West Virginia White is a native butterfly species often mistaken for Cabbage White, an introduced species. Lays its eggs one by one on this plant and Dentaria laciniata, another toothwort.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.