Cutleaf Toothwort

This entry is part 26 of 29 in the series Wildflower Poems


Cut-leaved Toothwort by Jennifer Schlick

Cardamine concatenata

Deeply divided
& coarsely toothed,

they say about its leaves,
as if describing some
barbarian horde. Even
the rhizomes sport tooth-
like projections, a root
said to be peppery,
good raw or boiled,
pickled or fermented
until sweet—
in short, a toothsome thing.
The mordellid beetle knows
nothing of this,
perched on a petal’s lip,
drawn in by a fragrance
like nothing from any fetid
snaggle of teeth.

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