Lepidium sativum | ‘Cress’, ‘Curly Cress’, ‘Garden Cress’ | ~500 seeds
Lepidium sativum, most commonly known as ‘Cress’, is a tasty, fast-growing and nutritious annual herb of the Brassicaceae family, related to both mustard and watercress. While the originating country of this species is currently uncertain, it’s believed it may be native to Iran.
The species is informally known by names such as ‘Asario’, ‘Chandrashoor’, ‘Cress’, ‘Curly Cress’, ‘Garden Cress’, ‘Garden Pepper Cress’, ‘Gardencress Pepperweed’, ‘Habbat al Hamra’, ‘Mustard and Cress’, ‘Pepper Cress’, ‘Pepper Grass’, ‘Pepperwort’ and ‘Poor Man’s Pepper’. Synonyms include Arabis chinensis, Cardamon sativum, Crucifera nasturtium, Lepia sativa, Lepidium hortense, Lepidium spinescens, Nasturtium crispum, Nasturtium sativum, Nasturtium spinescens, Thlaspi sativum and Thlaspidium sativum.
An annual growing to a maximum height of roughly ninety centimetres, ‘Cress’ grows erect before branching into multiple glossy stems, producing tiny, pinkish to white flowers of approximately two millimetres in diameter. The species is very easy to cultivate from seed in full sun to partial shade. The edible shoots are usually harvested roughly two weeks subsequent to sowing – when they’re between five to twelve centimetres high. Sativum is also apparently resistant to deer, although we’re not certain exactly what that means! This species is suitable for hydroponic cultivation.
A well-established ingredient in the global culinary arsenal, ‘Cress’ is a very healthy and mineral-rich (notably, Manganese) foodstuff which contains relatively large quantities of vitamins A, C and K. It’s a great-tasting and smelling, peppery herb which brings a lot of flavour to any dish, whether eaten for its sprouts or used as a seasoning. Traditionally, Lepidium sativum is also used in Ayurvedic and Middle Eastern medicine.
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced