Watercress (revised Oct.2007)

If you've found the information on the seed packet to be sadly lacking, this is the place to find out more, or add your comments!

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vivie veg
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Safety of wild watercress

Postby vivie veg » Tue May 22, 2007 6:22 pm

Dear all,

The problem with watercress from the wild (even from clean streams) is the possibility that it may contain snail/slug eggs, these in turn may be carrying the liverwart parasite, this is especially so if sheep are grazing around the stream or in fields upstream from the watercress.

So you may want to revise your thinking on collecting watercress from the wild :?
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Allan
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Postby Allan » Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:00 pm

Another point aboutwatercress from the wild is that you may find and pick "Fool's -water-cress, Apium nodiflorum. This won't do you any harm when you eat it, indeed Culpeper suggests its use, but it isn't the real thing.
There are many websites that have details, such as

http://www.ukwildflowers.com/Web_pages/ ... _cress.htm

I hope to collect the details together to add to this topic
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vivie veg
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Postby vivie veg » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:29 am

Allan,

Thanks for the extra notes on growing watercress (at the begin of this thread for those who have missed them!)

Vivianne
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Postby Johnboy » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:48 am

Hi Vivianne,
To take your posting;

"The problem with watercress from the wild (even from clean streams) is the possibility that it may contain snail/slug eggs, these in turn may be carrying the liverwart parasite, this is especially so if sheep are grazing around the stream or in fields upstream from the watercress."

Cultivated Watercress is grown in clean streams but you take the same risk as if it were 'wild Watercress.' I visited a Watercress Farm in the Test Valley last year and the stream that feeds that farm runs through sheep meadows so why should there be any added risk with any Watercress that grows wild in that river above or below that farm?
JB.
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Allan
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Postby Allan » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:03 pm

I don't think there is much risk from a flowing stream per se, it's a matter of where the stream comes from which may include drainage of stagnant water which is where the snails can breed and release the fluke into the water.. There is some treatment with ultra violet light carried out
in some places, there is no statement of how effective it might be.
I collected some local,alleged, watercress only to find out that it was this fool's watercress after I had potted up 30 cuttings, it didn't look right when I did it, the leaves were not round enough.If you look at the references on the net you will realise that the habit of growth is also wrong and not just a matter of whether it is flowering shoots.
There are very many similar native plants that can be eaten and indeed have been in times past.
Allan
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alan refail
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Re: Watercress (revised Oct.2007)

Postby alan refail » Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:24 pm

Having grown watercress successfully last summer and over the winter, I thought I might revive this thread to give other people ideas.
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Re: Watercress (revised Oct.2007)

Postby Colin_M » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:25 pm

Good idea Alan.

I know it's not the same, but I've also been impressed with the Land Cress that Mike Vogel gave me seeds for last year. The plants have now been in the ground and producing for almost 12 continuous months. They seem to be thriving in a shady spot next to a fence where not much else will grow.

The taste doesn't have quite the same "bite" and bitterness as true watercress, but it still makes for a welcome addition to any salad. Been a lot more reliable & less prone to going to seed than the Mizuna, Rocket & Lambs Lettuce I've also tried.
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