Scientific Name:
Cardamine lacustris (Garn.-Jones & P.N.Johnson) Heenan, New Zealand J. Bot. 40: 568 (2002)
  • Iti lacustris Garn.-Jones & P.N.Johnson, New Zealand J. Bot. 25: 603–604 (1987)
Holotype: Henry Creek, east side of Lake Te Anau, 21 May 1971, P. N. Johnson s.n., CHR 286399!
The specific epithet lacustris (Latin: inhabiting lakes) refers to the lake-shore habitat.

Annual rosette herb; stems on young plants very short, on older plants lateral, ascending at first, later prostrate, geniculate, rooting regularly, up to 50 mm long, reaching 0.8–2.0 mm diam., glabrous or sometimes with sparse, fine, slightly recurved hairs. Leaves glabrous, or with sparse, simple hairs on petiole, slightly glossy, dull green or tinged purplish grey, in rosettes and clustered on stems; early rosette leaves entire, linear-spathulate; later rosette and cauline leaves pinnatifid, 20–50 mm long; petiole 2.0–12.0 mm long, 0.5–1.0 mm wide; terminal lobe narrow-spathulate, 2.0–5.0 mm broad; lateral lobes narrowly oblong-spathulate, 4.0–10.0 mm long, sometimes single or in uneven numbers, but usually in 1–3 subopposite pairs. Inflorescence short-racemose, 1.0–2.0 mm long, reaching 2.0–5.0 mm long at fruiting; peduncle glabrous. Sepals suberect, oblong, glabrous, green with narrow, pale margins, 1.5–2.0 × 0.6–1.0 mm. Petals white, suberect, oblong- to obovate-spathulate, obtuse, 1.8–2.5 × 0.8–1.2 mm, weakly clawed; limb spreading. Stamens suberect; median stamens usually 2, rarely 4, 1.6–2.0 mm long; lateral stamens 1.0–1.5 mm long. Ovary ellipsoid, 1.0–1.6 mm long; stigma sessile, 0.4 mm diam.; locules each with 5–8 ovules. Silicle elliptic to oblong, 1.0–3.5 × 1.0–1.7 mm; valves pale straw-coloured, thin, convex, glabrous, not veined or with 1 weak vein. Seeds 0.6–0.9 mm long, 0.3–0.4 mm wide, 0.2–0.25 mm thick, oblong, yellow-brown to henna; wing absent.


South Island: Southland, Fiordland.

Cardamine lacustris is confined to Southland and Fiordland, where it occurs at the margins of Lake Manapōuri, Lake Te Anau, and an unnamed tarn in the Countess Range to the east of Lake Te Anau.


The plants typically grow on cobble beaches on lake shores and tarn margins, in silty sediments lodged between stones.

Indigenous (Endemic)

Cardamine lacustris is assessed as having a conservation status of At Risk–Naturally Uncommon, with the qualifiers Extreme Fluctuations and Sparse (de Lange et al. 2018).


Flowering January–February; Fruiting February–March.


Chromosome number 2n = 48.

de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Hitchmough, R.; Townsend, A.J. 2009: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand (2008 revision). New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 61–96. [Naturally uncommon]
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Heenan, P.B.; Courtney, S.P.; Molloy, B.P.J.; Ogle, C.C.; Rance, B.D. 2004: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42(1): 45–76.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Naturally Uncommon]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Naturally Uncommon]
Garnock-Jones, P.J.; Johnson, P. N. 1987: Iti lacustris (Brassicaceae), a new genus and species from southern New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 25: 603–610.
Heenan, P.B. 2002: Cardamine lacustris, A New Combination for Iti lacustris (Brassicaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 40(4): 563–569.
Heenan, P.B. 2017: A taxonomic revision of Cardamine L. (Brassicaceae) in New Zealand. Phytotaxa 330(1): 001–154.
Heenan, P.B. 2020: Cardamine. In: Wilton, A.D. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand - Seed Plants. Fascicle 6. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.