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Narrow-fruited Watercress

Nasturtium microphylla

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Also in this family:
Alpine Pennycress, Alpine Rock-cress, American Wintercress, Annual Wall Rocket, Austrian Yellowcress, Awlwort, Bastard Cabbage, Black Mustard, Bristol Rock-cress, Charlock, Common Scurvygrass, Common Whitlowgrass, Coralroot, Creeping Yellowcress, Cuckooflower, Dame's-violet, Danish Scurvygrass, Dittander, Early Wintercress, Eastern Rocket, English Scurvygrass, Evergreen Candytuft, False London Rocket, Field Pennycress, Field Pepperwort, Flixweed, Garden Arabis, Garden Candytuft, Garden Cress, Garden Radish, Garden Rocket, Garlic Mustard, Glabrous Whitlowgrass, Gold of Pleasure, Great Yellowcress, Greater Cuckooflower, Greater Periwinkle, Greater Swinecress, Hairy Bittercress, Hairy Rock-cress, Hairy Rocket, Hairy Whitlowgrass, Hedge Mustard, Hoary Cress, Hoary Mustard, Hoary Stock, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Honesty, Horseradish, Hutchinsia, Hybrid Watercress, Intermediate Periwinkle, Isle of Man Cabbage, Large Bittercress, Lesser Swinecress, London Rocket, Lundy Cabbage, Marsh Yellowcress, Mountain Scurvygrass, Narrow-leaved Bittercress, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Northern Rock-cress, Northern Yellowcress, Oilseed Rape, Perennial Rocket, Perennial Wall Rocket, Perfoliate Pennycress, Pinnate Coralroot, Purple Rock-cress, Pyrenean Scurvygrass, Rock Whitlowgrass, Russian Rocket, Scottish Scurvygrass, Sea Kale, Sea Radish, Sea Rocket, Sea Stock, Shepherd's Cress, Shepherd's Purse, Small-flowered Wintercress, Smith's Pepperwort, Steppe Cabbage, Swede, Sweet Alyssum, Tall Rocket, Thale Cress, Tower Mustard, Treacle Mustard, Trefoil Cress, Turnip, Wall Whitlowgrass, Wallflower, Wallflower Cabbage, Warty Cabbage, Watercress, Wavy Bittercress, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Ditches, marshes, meadows, roadsides, waterside, wetland.

White, 4 petals
White flowers, 5 to 7mm in size. Similar in appearance to Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) but the petals are more abruptly narrowed towards their bases.
The fruit is a cylindrical pod. Seeds are configured in a single row inside the pod, unlike the two rows of the similar looking Watercress (Nasturtium officinale).
Pinnate leaves. The stems turn purplish-brown in autumn. Perennial.
Other Names:
One-row Watercress, Onerow Yellowcress, One-rowed Watercress.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Nasturtium microphylla, or onerow yellowcress, is an aquatic plant species widespread across Europe and Asia, and naturalized in the United States. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family, and is closely related to Nasturtium officinale and Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum. It is characterized by its small, yellow flowers and short, oval-shaped leaves. It is often found in shallow water, but can also be found in wet meadows and on roadsides. It is edible, and has a slightly pungent, peppery flavor. The leaves and flowers are often used in salads, and the leaves can also be stir-fried or used to make a soup.


Narrow-fruited Watercress, also known as Nasturtium microphylla, is a type of watercress that is found in streams, rivers and other water bodies. This plant is known for its small, delicate leaves and stems, and its unique, narrow fruit pods.

Narrow-fruited Watercress is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes other well-known plants such as broccoli, cauliflower, and mustard. The plant is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and iron.

One of the key features of Narrow-fruited Watercress is its unique fruit pods. These pods are narrow and elongated, and contain small seeds that are surrounded by a thin layer of flesh. The fruit pods are often used in salads, soups, and other dishes to add a tangy, spicy flavor.

In addition to its culinary uses, Narrow-fruited Watercress also has many health benefits. The plant is high in antioxidants, which can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. Additionally, it contains compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.

Despite its many benefits, Narrow-fruited Watercress is not widely grown or commercially available. This is largely due to the fact that it is a delicate plant that is difficult to cultivate. However, it can be easily found in the wild, and is often harvested by foragers and wild food enthusiasts.

If you are interested in trying Narrow-fruited Watercress, be sure to only harvest it from clean water sources. The plant can absorb pollutants from the water, so it is important to ensure that it is coming from a clean, safe environment. Additionally, be sure to only harvest what you need, as over-harvesting can harm the plant and the ecosystem in which it grows.

Narrow-fruited Watercress is a unique and flavorful plant with many health benefits. Although it can be difficult to cultivate, it can be easily found in the wild and is a great addition to many dishes. Whether you are a forager, a wild food enthusiast, or simply someone who enjoys experimenting with new ingredients, Narrow-fruited Watercress is definitely worth checking out!

Aside from its culinary and health benefits, Narrow-fruited Watercress also has a long history of use in traditional medicine. In many cultures, it has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems, skin conditions, and digestive issues.

In traditional Chinese medicine, for example, Narrow-fruited Watercress is believed to have a cooling effect on the body, making it useful for treating fevers and other heat-related conditions. In Western herbal medicine, it has been used as a natural diuretic, helping to flush out excess fluids and toxins from the body.

Narrow-fruited Watercress is also a popular ingredient in cosmetic products, as its high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants makes it a great ingredient for promoting healthy skin. The plant's antioxidant properties can help protect the skin from environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV radiation, and its anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe irritated skin.

Despite its many benefits, it is important to remember that Narrow-fruited Watercress is not suitable for everyone. Some people may have an allergic reaction to the plant, so it is important to test a small amount before consuming it in larger quantities. Additionally, it is important to only use Narrow-fruited Watercress under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional, as it can interact with certain medications and have potential side effects.

Narrow-fruited Watercress is a versatile and healthful plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine. Whether you are using it in your cooking, as a natural remedy, or as a cosmetic ingredient, Narrow-fruited Watercress is definitely worth exploring further!

It is also worth noting that Narrow-fruited Watercress is an important food source for many wildlife species. The plant provides habitat and nourishment for a variety of insects, birds, and other animals. This makes it an important component of many aquatic ecosystems, and an important part of the overall health and balance of these ecosystems.

In addition to its role as a wildlife food source, Narrow-fruited Watercress also has a positive impact on water quality. The plant acts as a natural filter, removing pollutants and excess nutrients from the water. This helps to maintain the health of the water body and prevent the growth of harmful algae and other organisms.

In terms of cultivation, Narrow-fruited Watercress is a relatively low-maintenance plant that can be grown in a variety of settings. It can be grown in shallow water, in a hydroponic system, or even on a windowsill. The plant is generally easy to care for, and does not require a lot of fertilizer or attention.

Overall, Narrow-fruited Watercress is a versatile and important plant that offers many benefits to both people and the environment. Whether you are using it for its health benefits, its role in maintaining the health of aquatic ecosystems, or simply as a tasty ingredient in your cooking, Narrow-fruited Watercress is a plant that is well worth exploring.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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