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ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Watercress • Hindi: Chhuch, Jal-indushoor • Nepali: सिम रायो Sim rayo
Botanical name: Nasturtium officinale    Family: Brassicaceae (Mustard family)
Synonyms: Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum

Watercress is a glossy green, somewhat fleshy-stemmed perennial herb, generally found growing in shallow water. Small white flowers are borne in lax clusters at the end of branches. Flowers are about 4 mm across, with petals 4-5 mm long. Lower leaves are stalked, with 1-5 leaflets. Upper leaves have eared bases, and have 5-9 narrower blunt leaflets. Stem is hollow, rooting at the lower nodes. Fruit is oblong, 1-2 cm, on spreading stalks. The plant is edible and has medicinal qualities. Watercress is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Bhutan, at altitudes of 1500-4000 m. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Dharmsala, Manali, Himachal Pradesh & Pelling, Sikkim.

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