Botanical Name: Apium nodiflorum
Some other names: Stonecress, Fools Watercress.
How to grow it:
Lebanese Cress is what I would classify as a “hard-to-kill plant – once you have it, you’ll most likely always have it. It’s a rapidly spreading perennial ground cover that likes wet conditions, but will handle periods of drought. Grows in full sun, but prefers some shade especially at the hottest times of the year.
In warmer areas I find it prefers the wet season & cooler weather – it will still grow strongly in the heat (provided it gets water), but the leaves may be tougher & less palatable especially in full sun. In cooler climates it will go dormant or even die back in the winter so your best harvest times will be spring & autumn.
Lebanese Cress likes moist conditions best of all and so will grow well in bogs or anywhere it gets a permanent water supply. if there’s a problem with it, it can be invasive though it’s fairly easy to remove if necessary.
It does respond well to fertiliser, especially foliar sprays & worm juice.
Propogation is very simple – just pull up some plants roots and all & replant them into their new position or pots, water them in and they’ll be on their way with very little care.
I’d suggest you start 2-3 different patches with different sun/shade/water conditions expecting you’ll have tender leaves in one of the patches at most times of the year.
Leaves a good source of protein with vitamins A, B, & C, iron, calcium, phosphorous & potassium.
Using it in the kitchen:
The leaves of lebanese cress have a refreshing flavour that is like a cross between carrots & celery. Delicious!
Use them frequently in salads and sandwiches. I like them chopped up & added to coleslaws.
It would be well worth having some growing right near the kitchen in a large pot so it can be picked for a quick sandwich or salad on those rainy days when it’s hard to get in the garden.
A great survival food for it’s hardiness & uninterrupted supply of nutritious leaves.