Garden cress (Lepidium sativum) is a fast-growing, edible herb that is botanically related to watercress and mustard, sharing their peppery, tangy flavor and aroma. In some regions, garden cress is known as garden pepper cress, pepper grass, pepperwort or poor man’s pepper.
This annual plant can reach a height of 60 cm (~24 inches), with many branches on the upper part. The white to pinkish flowers are only 2 mm (1/12 of an inch) across, clustered in branched racemes
Garden Cress is commercially grown in England, France, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Cultivation of garden cress is practical on both mass scales and on the individual scale. Garden cress is suitable for hydroponic cultivation and thrives in water that is slightly alkaline.
Garden Cress is added to soups, sandwiches and salads for its tangy flavor. It is also eaten as sprouts, and the fresh or dried seed pods can be used as a peppery seasoning (haloon). In England cut cress shoots are commonly used in sandwiches with boiled eggs, mayonnaise and salt.
Lepidium sativum seeds are used medicinally for indigestion and constipation