Watercress is a rapidly growing, perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. It is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. Watercress and many of its relatives, such as garden cress, mustard, radish, and wasabi, are noteworthy for their piquant flavors.
The hollow stems of watercress float in water. The leaf structure is pinnately compound. Small, white, and green flowers are produced in clusters and are frequently visited by insects, especially hoverflies, such as Eristalis flies.
From Middle English water cresse, water-kresse, watercrasse, water cars, equivalent to water + cress.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈwɔːtəkɹɛs/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈwɔtəɹkɹɛs/
watercress (countable and uncountable, plural watercresses)
- A perennial European herb, Nasturtium officinale, that grows in freshwater streams; used in salads and as a garnish.
- A similar plant, Nasturtium microphyllum.