Watercress
Nasturtium officinale, R. Br.* (Brassicaceae)
*SynonymóRadicula nasturtium-aquaticum (L) Britten & Rendle.

Common Names
Watercress, nasturtium, true watercress.

Description
A floating perennial. The large stems are freely rooting, thick, and hollow. Leaves are alternate and pinnately divided. Leaflets are entire.

Flowering Period
April to October.

Habitat
In thick beds in cold, flowing water of ditches, small rills, slow streams, brooks, and ponds.

Harvest
Herb, at any time.

Uses
This floating herb is widely used as a fresh edible green. The leaves are very rich in vitamins A and C. Spanish-speaking people in New Mexico eat the plant as a treatment for kidney and heart trouble, and use it crushed in cold water as a treatment for tuberculosis. In Europe it is used to increase urine flow and to combat rheumatism and bronchitis. Pregnant women are warned not to use it because it may cause abortion.

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