Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Watercress
Nasturtium officinale

Family: Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nasturtium (nas-STUR-shum) (Info)
Species: officinale (oh-fiss-ih-NAH-lee) (Info)

Synonym:Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum
Synonym:Sisymbrium nasturtium-aquaticum

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

23 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ponds and Aquatics
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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4 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Feb 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

If you grow this, please make sure that it doesn't get into natural wetlands.

Connecticut has banned the trade, transport, or planting of this species due to its invasiveness. It's a threat to wetlands and a species of concern to organizations dealing with the environment over a big chunk of the US.

Positive eastpiney2000 On Sep 5, 2011, eastpiney2000 from Nashville, TN wrote:

Do be careful if you harvest from the wild that you don't get any watercress with snails in it. They love it and they aren't healthy to eat after!

Positive CurtisJones On Nov 3, 2008, CurtisJones from Longmont, CO wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: Watercress adds snappy, peppery flavor to sandwiches, soups, & salads. An ancient plant, it has been popular around the world for its nutrtional and medicinal value. Watercress is a healthy source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, C, and K as well as potassium, iron, and calcium. Its anti-oxidant properties are also being studied. An aquatic, water-loving plant, it grows naturally along streams and lakes. You can easily grow it in your garden or indoors in a container that sits in a a tray of water to keep it moist. (Confining it to a container outdoors will keep it from spreading.) It is perennial to USDA zone 4 (if plants do not dry out in the winter).

Neutral joegee On Mar 1, 2008, joegee from Bucyrus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Water cress is a naturalized alien species found in 46 of Ohio's counties

Positive raisedbedbob On Feb 8, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

The leaves are are high in vitamines A and C and Iodine. Traditionally used as a diuretic and "blood purifier". Also used to treat lethargy, rheumatism, heart trouble, bronchitis, scurvey and goiter. A leaf extract is used in India to treat vitamine deficiency. And it tastes real good!

Neutral Toxicodendron On Oct 4, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Watercress is hardy here in zone grows in the springs that are so abundant in our area. Since the water stays above freezing, perhaps that is why it survives. It is good in salads or on a cucumber sandwich where it lends a peppery flavor.

Positive Michaelp On Nov 11, 2003, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

I grow Watercress to filter water from fish production, it does well as a component of a bio-filter and provides good food as a by-product. Watercress realy spices up a salad nicely!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Alameda, California
Los Angeles, California
Merced, California
San Diego, California
Longmont, Colorado
Orange Springs, Florida
Jasper, Georgia
Valdosta, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Valley Lee, Maryland
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Piedmont, Missouri
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania
Dickson, Tennessee
Mc Minnville, Tennessee
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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