Water-cress - Nasturtium officinale

    Alternative names
    Water Cress, Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum

    Short to medium, hairless plant, the stems thick and succulent, creeping and rooting, and sometimes floating. Leaves pinnate, deep glossy green, leaflets rounded or elliptical, usually unlobed. Flowers white, 4 to 6 mm in congested heads. Fruit, narrow, oblong 13 to 18 mm with two rows of seeds in each valve.

    Similar Species

    Nasturtium microphyllum and Apium nodiflorum (Fool's Watercress).

    Fool's Water-cress has more pointed leaves and has umbelliferous flowers rather than the 4 petalled flowers of Water-cress.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Leaves, pinnate, hairless.  Seeds in 2 rows under each valve

    Recording advice

    General photo of plant in habitat, plus details of the fruits


    Shallow, clear freshwater habitats. Rivers, streams, ditches and dykes.

    When to see it

    May to October.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Fairly frequent in Britain except for Central and Northern Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 91 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Native, occasional

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map