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Nasturtium microphyllum - Boenn. ex Rchb.

Common Name Watercress, Onerow yellowcress
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Stream margins, ditches, flushes etc with moving water[17, 27], usually in chalk or limestone areas[52].
Range Europe, including Britain, to W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun
Nasturtium microphyllum Watercress, Onerow yellowcress


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Nasturtium microphyllum Watercress, Onerow yellowcress

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Nasturtium microphyllum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Seed
Edible Uses: Condiment

Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 5, 7, 9, 16, 27]. Exceptionally rich in vitamins and minerals, especially iron[200]. The leaves are mainly used as a garnish or as an addition to salads, the flavour is strong with a characteristic hotness[183]. The seed can be sprouted and eaten in salads[183]. A hot flavour. The seed is ground into a powder and used as a mustard[46, 183]. The pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed - an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 - 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild but bitter mustard[238].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiscorbutic  Diuretic  Expectorant  Purgative  Stimulant  Stomachic

Antiscorbutic, diuretic, expectorant, purgative, stimulant, stomachic[4, 9, 21, 46]. Use with caution[21].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Watercress is easily grown when given the correct conditions of slowly flowing clean water, preferably coming from chalky or limestone soils[264]. It prefers to grow in water about 5cm deep[37] with an optimum pH 7.2[200]. Plants can be grown in wet soil if the position is somewhat shaded and protection is given in winter, though the flavour may be hotter[27, 37]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[200], they tolerate somewhat lower temperatures than the closely related N. officinale[200]. Watercress is often cultivated for its edible leaves, there are some named varieties[16, 183]. The plant is very sensitive to pollution so a clean source of water is required[200]. Plants will often continue to grow all through mild winters. A fast-growing plant, the stems trail along the ground or float in water and produce new roots at the leaf nodes, thus making the plant very easy to propagate vegetatively[238]. Unfortunately, virus diseases have become more common in cultivated plants and so most propagation is carried out by seed[264]. This is a triploid species. It has hybridised naturally in the wild with the diploid species N. officinale to produce the sterile hybrid N. x sterilis which is also commonly cultivated as a salad crop[264]. The flowers are a rich source of pollen and so are very attractive to bees[7].

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a pot emmersed to half its depth in water. Germination should take place within a couple of weeks. Prick out seedlings into individual pots whilst they are still small and increase the depth of water gradually until they are submerged. Plant out into a pond in the summer. Cuttings can be taken at any time in the growing season. Virtually any part of the plant, including a single leaf, will form roots if detached from the parent plant[56]. Just put it in a container of water until the roots are well formed and then plant out in shallow water.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Nasturtium officinaleWatercressPerennial0.5 3-11 FLMHNWeWa432
Nasturtium x sterileBrown WatercressPerennial0.5 5-9  LMHNWeWa43 
Tropaeolum majusNasturtium, Indian CressPerennial Climber3.5 8-11 FLMNM43 
Tropaeolum minusDwarf NasturtiumPerennial0.0 8-11  LMNM43 

 

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Author

Boenn. ex Rchb.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

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