Watercress is a nutrient rich, and widely available wild edible.  It grows in moving water and can be found year round in most areas, as long as the water continues to flow.  It is related to other cultivated vegetables such as mustard and wasabi.  Other than the leaf pattern it can be identified by its white and green flowers that are produced in clusters.  It is said to be one of the first known leafy vegetables eaten by humans.  It is a wonderful source of valuable nutrients for those surviving in the wilderness.


  • It is a perennial and can therefore offer food for wilderness survivors year-round. So, if you notice a patch on a hike in the spring, remember it, unlike most plants it will still be there if you need it in the winter.
  • While low in calories, it is packed with valuable nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, E, and packed with vitamin K. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium and manganese and contains lower amounts of other minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and even sodium.
  • Given that it grows only in moving water there is no need to spend unnecessary time and energy looking for it since you will already need to locate a good water source.
  • It requires very little energy to harvest.
  • If you are unsure about the quality and safety of the water that it grows in, you should boil it prior to eating.
  • It can grow rapidly and can be found in patches that could yield daily harvests for more than a week without risk of damaging supply.

While it will not provide the energy you need to perform difficult physical tasks, it will provide you with the nutrition you need to stay healthy and can be found all year round.

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