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Annual Biennial

Barbarea verna

American cress

A biennial producing a rosette of dark green, deeply-lobed leaves which may be used as a watercress substitute. In spring or summer of its second year it produces upright stems with clusters of small, yellow, four-petalled flowers

Other common names
bank cress
Belle Isle cress
see moreearly cress
early winter cress
land cress
Normandy cress
yellow cress
winter cress
yellow rocket
Synonyms
Barbarea praecox

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green
Summer Yellow Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Brassicaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Barbarea can be biennials or perennials, with simple or pinnately divided leaves and small, 4-petalled yellow or white flowers, followed by slender seed-pods

Name status

Correct

Plant range
SW Europe

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist soil in full sun or semi shade. Can be cropped virtually all year by staggering sowing dates

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown thinly in seed trays or small pots. Plant outdoors when large enough to handle (around 10" (25cm) in height) in rows 12" (30cm) apart

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be susceptible to flea beetle

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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