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Wintercress

Edible Edible Spring Spring Winter Winter

Although slightly bitter this cress can be found from December on and was probably important as a fresh green herb to early man in the winter months.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Wintercress
Scientific Name Barbarea vulgaris
Season Start Dec
Season End Jun
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Deeply lobed, dark green shiny leaves.

Flowers

Typical cruciform (four petals in a cross) yellow brassica flowers.

Flower Buds

The unopened flower buds look similar to broccoli.

Flower Stem

Only develops a stem for flowering which is slightly ridged and smooth.

Seed Pods

Long, thin and erect.

Habitat

Hedgerows, flower beds and wood edges.

Possible Confusion

Other cresses.

Taste

Hot and cress like with a peppery, slightly bitter taste.

Frequency

Uncommon.

Collecting

The leaves and unopened flower buds can be eaten raw or cooked and the flowers can be used in salads.

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