Watercress is a fast-growing semi-aquatic or aquatic plant that is botanically known as Nasturtium officinale. It is native to America, Asia and Europe and different countries have different names for it such as; water cushie, green watercress, town cress, water crishes, bronkors, karsun mehi, Kreson, nilofar, beler, halim, ajila, cai, Ukhwaningenila, xi yang cai, waterkers,biolar, piriyaa-haalim,tapsoy, pakhuy, jembrak, saladi, berwr dwr.
Watercress belongs to the family of Brassicaceae otherwise known as cabbage family. It is botanically equivalent to mustard, radish, wasabi and garden cress due to their similar tangy flavour. It usually thrives mainly in streams, springs, clear water and open-running waterways. It is a leafy dark green herb that is characterised by a short shelf life of approximately 7 days.
It is distinguished from other plants by its hollow stems that float on the water surface. The green and white clustered leaves are pinnately compound in that it has the leaflets on each side of a common axis. Because watercress performs better in a water condition, hydroponic mode of cultivation is very suitable for it. Hydroponic mode of cultivation is a method of growing plants with mineral nutrient solutions in water and in the absence of soil. Read more about water cress here.