Cardamine trifolia

three-leaf cardamine

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Cardamine trifolia is an attractive, evergreen groundcover for the shade. This little charmer has three palmate, dark green leaflets that rise to about 6 inches and are topped in spring with short spikes of small white cupped flowers. This cardamine spreads to an almost perfect circle that is about 12 inches across making for a very tidy appearance. Once Cardamine trifolia is established it will tolerate drought conditions and dry shade.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 0 ft. 6 in. (0.15 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: light, open, dappled, or deep shade

Water Requirements: occasional to regular watering

Seasonal Interest: dainty year-round evergreen groundcover with tiny white flowers in spring

Wildlife Associations: bees

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: yellow, silver, bronze

Great Color Partners: lavender, blue, rose

Culture Notes
Cardamine trifolia grows well in light, open, dappled, or deep shade with moist, well-drained soil, though it is adaptable to a variety of soil types including sand and clay. Once established it only requires occasional summer watering, although regular watering helps keep a fresh appearance. This plant is almost maintenance free; cleaning up a bit of the spent flower stalks in early summer is all that is required.