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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (Watercress)

[= Nasturtium officinale]

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid II > Order: Brassicales > Family: Brassicaceae > Genus: Rorippa

Watercress is native to Europe where it grows in streams, ditches, springs and fast-flowing waters. It has been used as a salad plant since at least Roman times and the first records of it being grown commercially date back to 1750 in Germany. Besides being used in salads, it is put in sandwiches and used in soups and oriental stir-fry dishes. It has a fresh, clean peppery taste. In South Africa it is a declared Category 2 invasive plant.

Other comments

The nasturtium found in gardens is Tropaeolum majus (Tropaeolaceae) and is so called because of also having mustard-oil like in the Brassicaceae.