Oecologia Vol. Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is an edible water plant that commonly occurs throughout the United States, southern Canada, Europe and Asia. It flowers from April to October. Leaves and stems: Leaves are 2 to 4 inches long, ¾ to 1½ inches wide, compound in groups of 3 to 9. Watercress was traditionally used to treat coughs, gout, and arthritis. This arrangement is known as “the myrosinase-glucosinolate bomb.” This “bomb” is thought to be active against herbivores, fungi, viral and bacterial pathogens, nematodes, and even other plants. ), "Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content were the highest in rocket salad, watercress and Brussels sprouts. Watercress Soup is absolutely delicious and very nourishing, as are salads to which carefully sourced watercress is added. ", (Profiling of Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of 12 Cruciferous Vegetables. Washington DC 20250-1103, Pollinator-Friendly Best Management Practices, Native Plant Material Accomplishment Reports, Fading Gold: The Decline of Aspen in the West, Wildflowers, Part of the Pagentry of Fall Colors, Tall Forb Community of the Intermountain West, Strategic Planning, Budget And Accountability, Recreation, Heritage And Volunteer Resources, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air And Rare Plants. USDA PLANTS Database. Plants collected from the wild should be washed carefully prior to consumption to avoid accidental ingestion of microscopic parasites, such as the protozoan Giardia, that may be present in untreated water (Yatskievych 2006). Watercress is an extremely healthy plant when consumed, however it can also be deadly if you select the wrong plant! Watercress grows in shallow, cold running water that's slightly alkaline. Watercress supplementation in diet reduces lymphocyte DNA damage and alters blood antioxidant status in healthy adults. It is also eaten as sprouts, and the fresh or dried seed pods can be used as a peppery seasoning (haloon). Newman, R.M., Z. Hanscom, and W. C. Kerfoot. It also does well in wet soil. Watercress, a.k.a. That makes spring and fall the ideal seasons to forage watercress. It is said that if a person got mad and if he drank the waters of Tobar na nGealt and ate the watercress that is growing in the well, he would be cured of his madness.' - biography.com. It’s naturalized in Florida and in fact all of North America, Europe and Asia, the latter two where it is native. Watercress grows in shallow running water so it is easy to find. Watercress is commonly found in cold, alkaline waters of springs, spring runs, and similar streams throughout the State of Missouri, as well as the majority of the North American continent. With watercress, the glucosinolate-myrosinase system is employed as a defensive mechanism against herbivory by various aquatic herbivores such as caddis flies, amphipods, and snails. How exciting. Florida is the Winter Watercress Capital of the U.S. In our folklore, it was deemed a cure for lunacy. ' The flowers grow in long clusters along the stem like many other mustards. Affiliate Disclaimer: In some cases, we use affiliate links, which means we get a small (tiny) commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link. This helps to keep Wild Edible online. Watercress (Nasturtium officinale). James Cook, a British naval captain who charted New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef in 1770, regularly fed his crews watercress: "During all his voyages, Cook successfully fought scurvy, a deadly disease caused by vitamin deficiency, by feeding his crew a diet that included watercress, sauerkraut and orange extract." Effects of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Watercress (Nasturtium Officinale) Leaves on Serum Glucose and Lipid Levels in Diabetic Rats. Leaves: The alternate, pinnately compound leaves can be from about 1.5 inches to 6.5 inches long and consist of 2 to 8 nearly oval-shaped leaflets arranged in opposite pairs with one larger leaflet on the end. than any other veggie out there, you will end up feeling like more than just a champion green thumb. With more Vitamin A, VitaminB1, VitaminB3, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, iron, potassium, and calcium (whew!) Watercress grows in shallow running water where it normally forms dense mats. The Iowa State university Press, Ames, IA. This implies that the consumption of watercress leaves can be helpful in reducing the complications of hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia associated with diabetes.". WonderHowTo. Mailstop Code: 1103 1992. You can also crush and freeze them to use later as breadcrumbs in other recipes. It is usually considered an introduced species in North and South America, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. It flowers from March to October. It is also used as a garnish for meats and other dishes where a peppery or pungent flavor is desired (Steyermark 1963). By Linda Chang. Watercress or yellowcress is a species of aquatic flowering plant in the cabbage family Brassicaceae.Its botanical name is Nasturtium officinale.. Watercress is a rapidly growing, perennial plant native to Europe and Asia.It is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. And making crackers means there's one less thing to buy. I'm not sure how North Dakota may have resisted the invasion of watercress, but I find it hard to believe. Watercress is an aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial herb with bright white flowers that resemble the shape of a cross; hence, an old name (Cruciferae) for the mustard family, to which watercress belongs. How exciting. Only collect watercress from clean water sources. Watercress flowers are small and white and occur in long clusters like many other mustards. Profiling of Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of 12 Cruciferous Vegetables. Affordable and search from millions of royalty free images, photos and vectors. Nasturtium officinale (nas-STUR-shum oh-fis-in-AY-lee ) is one of the oldest leaf vegetables cultivated by man. Watercress is an extremely healthy plant when consumed, however it can also be deadly if you select the wrong plant! Watercress is commonly found in cold, alkaline waters of springs, spring runs, and similar streams throughout the State of Missouri, as well as the majority of the North American continent. It's also easy to gather by pulling clumps out by the roots if you don't mind cutting the roots off later. It is sometimes used as a condiment and in salads. Watercress is one … Watercress is also considered "noxious and invasive" in 46 states. Watercress forms a carpet of small round leaves. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Your whole body will benefit from the healthy boost. Watercress is a glossy-looking, mostly hairless, medium-sized, aquatic or sub-aquatic plant. Flower: Elongating racemes at the ends of many branching stems, with blooming flowers clustered at the tip. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation map indicates that watercress occurs throughout all of the continental United States except for North Dakota. Watercress is in the Brassicaceae (formerly Cruciferae) family, which makes it a mustard like its relatives kale, cabbage, collard greens, arugula, broccoli, and of course mustard. Watercress is best used fresh but can be kept indefinitely in water if the water is changed daily. Watercress has been called a superfood, and according to the USDA and nutritionvalue.org, it's rich in several vitamins and minerals. Thus, the distinctive flavors of many members of the Mustard family are due to the types and amounts of hydrolyzed glucosinolate products released. ), "The results support the theory that consumption of watercress can be linked to a reduced risk of cancer via decreased damage to DNA and possible modulation of antioxidant status by increasing carotenoid concentrations. ), "Our findings demonstrated that a 4-week treatment with watercress extract at a dose of 200 mg/kg has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Flowers are ¼ to 3/8 inch across with 4 rounded white petals, 6 yellowish stamens, a short central style, and a purplish green ovary. Like many of its relatives in the mustard family, spring cress has a bitter or pungent flavor, similar to horseradish. Download Watercress flower stock photos.