Other Common Names:

(Nasturtium officinale)


Watercress stems and leaves are medium green. Young leaves are simple while mature leaves are compound with three to 11 leaflets.


Watercress grows in flowing streams, submersed, floating, or over mud. Roots are thin and stringy. Fleshy stems are easily breakable and grow four to almost 24 inches long. Stems and leaves are medium green. Young leaves are simple and more mature leaves are compound. There are typically three to 11 leaflets that are oval or sword shaped. Leaves grow one and a half to nearly one and three-fourths inches long. White flowers with four petals cluster on the ends of stems above water. Flowers are typically one-tenth to two-tenths of an inch long. The center of the flowers contains greens sepals. Each seedpod has two rows of seeds.


Although watercress is not native, it has been naturalized throughout the United States. It is a food source for ducks, muskrats, and deer. Humans consume the peppery flavored young shoots and leaves of watercress.


Watercress can be found across the United States.