Nasturtium Species, Watercress, Yellowcress

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:Nasturtium aquaticum
Synonym:Nasturtium nasturtium-aquaticum


Ponds and Aquatics

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 15, 2020, janelp_lee from Toronto, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

For food source you must grow in closed, wet environment to keep bugs out, also snails and slugs out. Heat up the soil to certain temperature can kill the bugs eggs to have cleaned soil for planting use. Seal the container with cleaned soil with clean tap water. The plant source can be from supermarket cuttings that grow in clean water indoors first. Clean the rough stems (after removing the tender part) several times with running water to clean off possible bugs, snails and slugs eggs. Plant the cleaned stems in prepared container. Bag the whole container with clear plastic. This plant is very cold hardy and can be harvest all year around.


On May 2, 2016, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Easily grown from seed in a sealed container with a medium of hardwood compost. Plants should be kept continuously wet, raising the level of standing water in the container as they grow taller. Plants appreciate partial sun.

Be advised that growing watercress this way invites a mosquito farm in your container. Treat with a periodic teaspoonful of "Mosquito Bits" or equivalent dried Bacillus thuringiensis product to kill the larvae without the use of harmful chemicals.


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.


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!


On Nov 3, 2008, CurtisJones from Broomfield, CO (Zone 5b) 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).


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


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!


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.


On Nov 11, 2003, Michaelp from Piney Flats, TN (Zone 7a) 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!