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Winter Cress


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Wintercress (Barbarea vulgaris), also known as yellow rocket plant, is an herbaceous biennial plant in the mustard family. Native to Eurasia, it was introduced into North America and is now commonly found throughout the New England states. What are wintercress uses Is wintercress edible The following wintercress information discusses growing wintercress and its uses.


But in areas where wintercress has naturalized, it is just as easy to forage for the plant. It is simple to spot its large leaved, deeply lobed rosette during winter months and it as one of the first herbs to show itself in spring.


Beyond its uses for animal fodder, wintercress is rich in vitamins C and A, and was an anti-scurvy plant in the day before vitamin C was readily available. In fact, another common name for wintercress is scurvy grass or scurvy cress.


Only use small amounts of raw chopped leaves at a time, more as you would when harvesting and employing it as an herb rather than a green. It is said that the ingestion of too much raw wintercress can lead to kidney malfunction. Otherwise, it is advisable to cook the leaves. They can be used in stir fries and the like and apparently taste like strong, stinky broccoli.


Barbarea (winter cress or yellow rocket) is a genus of about 22 species of flowering plants in the family Brassicaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in southern Europe and southwest Asia. They are small herbaceous biennial or perennial plants with dark green, deeply lobed leaves and yellow flowers with four petals.


They grow quickly into dandelion-like rosettes of edible, cress-like foliage. Barbarea verna, also known as upland cress, early winter cress, American cress, Belle Isle cress and scurvy grass, is used in salads or to add a nippy taste to mixed greens for cooking.[1][additional citation(s) needed]


Barbarea vulgaris, also called wintercress (usual common name), or alternatively herb barbara, rocketcress, yellow rocketcress, winter rocket, yellow rocket, and wound rocket, is a biennial herb of the genus Barbarea, belonging to the family Brassicaceae.


B. vulgaris has various common names of which the most commonly used is 'wintercress' (e.g. Gleason, H.A. Illustrated Flora of the NE United States and Adjacent Canada, 1952), which can also be used for the entire genus Barbarea. Many other common names are listed in various sources, including (in alphabetical order), 'cressy-greens', 'English wintercress', 'herb-Barbaras', 'rocket cress', and 'yellow rocket'.[12] Two additional names sometimes used, 'bittercress' and 'upland cress' are ambiguous; the name 'bittercress' usually signifies various species of the genus Cardamine, and 'upland cress' usually signifies Barbarea verna.


Variegation fans--this one s for you! Edible & useful, this attractive form of cress makes an evergreen (ever-variegated ) rosette of wavy-edged, glossy green leaves marbled with cream blotches. Growing 12 to 18 tall & about 8 wide, it blooms in spring with branching sprays of bright yellow flowers. To perennialize it, increase leaf production, or prevent reseeding, remove the flowering stems as they appear. Similar in flavor to watercress, it has been eaten since early times as a winter vegetable in salads & soups. This cress is delicious when lightly boiled, steamed, or sauteed with butter & pepper. Prefers sun or part shade.Young leaves are edible raw in early spring. The young flower heads look like small broccoli and can be eaten after cooking. The plant is rich in vitamins A and C.


This grows as a biennial or perennial herb on waste ground, beside riverbanks, and roadside verges around the South and East of Scotland. Also known as Yellow Rocket, Rocketcress, or Winter Rocket, the leaves are shaped similar to other rocket plants, and are edible, being rich in Vitamins C and A. It is a common sight in spring growing along stretches of road.


Her namesake, Barberea, is a genus of 22 plants that reside in the mustard family, Brassicaceae. Locally, this genus is represented by the understated wintercress. You can see wintercress, known also as yellow rocket, rocket cress and wound rocket, flowering now. Its small, four-petalled bright yellow flowers started blooming last month and will continue into summer.


Before one could just pick up a bottle of vitamins, greens of these sorts were eaten and valued, as they were rich in vitamin C and A. So, it is not surprising that wintercress was consumed as a preventative for scurvy. As is often the case concerning wild foods, some studies identify a potential for harm to the kidneys. However, I prefer to take my chances with these wild greens.


Finding wintercress is fantastic for reasons beyond its reputed medicinal value. Most of the plant is edible. The leaves are best in winter and early spring before the stem emerges. They can be used raw in salads or cooked like spinach. If you are thinking of harvesting some now, note that you are too late. Once the flowers emerge (and they are present now) the leaves have become too bitter.


These greens are definitely considered weeds and are easy to find. Common in moist places, along roads and in fields and waste places, wintercress, though native to Eurasia, has easily found a home here and become naturalized in our habitats.


Make a point of looking for this flowering biennial now and remember its location. Once the flowers and stem have gone, they will remain an excellent source for an edible, local herb throughout the winter, giving us something to look forward to even after summer fades.


Winter cress grows 2-3 ft. in height; it is smooth and dark green, and looks quite succulent. (Some say the leaves are edible when young). It is an introduced species, but it can now be found growing in fields and along roadsides throughout North America.Below is a detailed drawing of the parts of Burbarea vulgaris, or yellow rocket. Compare it closely with the photos.


Winter Cress (Barbarea spp.) is a collection, or genus, of plants that are part of the mustard family. They are herbaceous, and depending on the species, they can be biennial or perennial. Another popular name for winter cress, is yellow rocket, hinting at its use as a culinary herb.


Winter cress species are native to many areas within the Northern hemisphere, particularly Europe and Asia. Some uncommon species can however be found within the Southern Hemisphere, including Tasmania, Australia. The American yellow rocket (Barbarea orthoceras) is native to large areas of midwest US, although not particularly common. However you are more likely to spot land cress (Barbarea verna) and bittercress (Barbarea vulgaris). These species were likely introduced into the US from early settlers, as they are actually native to Europe and Asia.


The leaves and flowers are edible raw or cooked, and can be used in a wide range of recipes. From flavorful summer salads, to curries and casseroles, the light peppery taste adding a depth of flavor. Many wild food foragers claim that boiling winter cress in water before cooking or using greatly improves the flavor. The flower buds or opened flowers can both be used. The bright yellow flowers add a fantastic pop of color to salads.


Winter cress is very distinctive, and luckily no toxic lookalikes exist. The scientific study of winter cress is limited, and although perfectly safe to consume, all foods should be eaten in moderation.


When foraging for winter cress it is best to focus your search alongside rivers, creeks and areas with particularly moist soil. The tell-tale yellow flowers will usually be the most recognisable feature that catches your eye.


You can generally pick winter cress leaves throughout the year, but spring and summer are usually the best seasons. Older plants are likely to have tougher leaves, so choosing newer leaves in spring and summer will provide you with the best yield. During the winter, winter cress can be picked, however it lies dormant, so be sure not to over harvest.


The juicy, peppery leaves of winter cress are easy to forage and supply a generous yield of leafy greens. They are a great source of anti-oxidants and vitamin C making them a perfect healthy green to cook with. They are even easy to grow at home, if you became completely taken with them and needed a supply very close to home!


Winter Cress Seeds. Winter Cress was also known as Scurvy Grass because it was one of the few green vegetables available during the middle of winter and was a needed source of Vitamin C which prevents scurvy. It was a common salad green in the 16th and 17th century and Gerard mentioned it in the Herball in 1597. A very hardy biennial.


As you are out foraging for bittercress this spring and summer, be sure to grab a taste of the leaves, even if you have no intention of bringing them home to cook. Just be careful not to harvest from plants that are too close to the road, as they could have soaked up toxic chemicals.


Seeds can be sown at any time but are best sown in winter or early spring to benefit from a cold spell in the wet compost to break their dormancy. We advise covering seeds very thinly with sand or fine grit to about the depth of the seed size. If the seeds do not come up within 6 to 12 weeks the damp seed tray can be given cold treatment in a fridge for about four weeks. They may still take very many months to appear, so please never discard the pot or tray.


To Prepare Salad: Snip off roots of cress maintaining 2" of cress stems with leaves and petals. Rinse, pat dry, and divide between 4 pretty salad plates. Decorate with grapefruit sections and avocado. Sprinkle with cheese and pistachios. Just before serving, drizzle with your choice of Salad Girl.


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