Watercress

Nasturtium officinale
Watercress:Nasturtium officinale Watercress:Nasturtium officinale

Common name:

Watercress

Scientific name:

Nasturtium officinale (Brassicaceae)

Alternative common names:

Sterkkos; brongras; bronkhorstslaai; bronkors; bronslaai; stercors (Afrikaans), kerese (Sesotho)

Mat-forming perennial, aquatic plant with erect, creeping or floating hollow stems up to 1m long which roots at the nodes. Bright green leaves with slightly fleshy margins. White flowers in terminal, elongated clusters appear from September to March followed by brown fruits.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Europe

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 2 NEMBA – Category 2

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Western, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo Provinces.

    How does it spread?

    Seed dispersal.

    Why is it a problem?

    Invades rivers, riverbanks and wetlands

    What does it look like?

    General description: Mat-forming, aquatic perennial plant with erect, creeping or floating hollow stems up to 1m long. Leaves: Bright green leaves with slightly fleshy margins. Flowers: White flowers in terminal, elongated clusters from September to March. Fruit/seeds: Brown fruits.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Frequently used in salads and garnishing.