Watercress grows in streams and ditches, however, recently it is now grown commercially.

What to look for

Choose fresh looking bunches with healthy stems. The leaves should be green, showing no signs of yellowing or wilting.


All year; best supplies, May - December.


Refrigerate in plastic bags. Alternatively, if the roots are still attached, place in a jar of water and do not refrigerate. Use promptly.

How to prepare

Wash well. Remove woody stalks and discoloured leaves. Use the medium to thin stalks and the leaves. Discard only the very coarse stalks; add these to stocks and soups for extra flavour.

Ways to eat

The dark green leaves have a peppery flavour. It can be eaten raw in salads and sandwiches, used as a garnish, added to soups and sauces, and used instead of spinach in omelettes, quiches and pancake fillings.

Cooking Methods

Boil, microwave, steam.


Nutrition Information
Serving size:  ½ cup, chopped - 18g
per serving 
% Daily
intake per
per 100g 
Energy (kJ/Cal)16/40.2%92/22 
Protein (g)0.51%2.8 
Fat, total (g)0.070.1%0.4 
 - saturated (g)0.020%0.1 
Carbohydrate (g)0.040%0.2 
 - sugars (g)0.020%0.1 
Dietary fibre (g)0.62%3.3 
Sodium (mg)30.1%17 
Vitamin C (mg)13.534% RDI*75.0A good source of vitamin C
Folate (µg)5025% RDI*280A good source of folate
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg)14920% RDI*830A source of vitamin A Equiv.
Iron (mg)0.43% RDI*2.2 
Vitamin B6 (mg)0.0342% RDI*0.19 
Niacin (mg)0.182% RDI*1 
Calcium (mg)9.51% RDI*53 
Potassium (mg)32 180 
Thiamin (mg)trace0% RDI*trace 

Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs.
*Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)

Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 10th Edition, Plant & Food Research - 2014

Watercress is a good source of vitamin C and folate as well as a source of vitamin A (from beta-carotene). Glucosinolates are the phytonutrients plentiful in watercress. 


Display on refrigerated shelving with herbs and salad items. Watercress is highly perishable so buy small quantities regularly and ensure good stock rotation. If loose, bunch and display. Customers may not know how to use watercress, so use the QR code on labels.

Store at 0°C with a relative humidity of 90-100%.

Purchase watercress with the New Zealand GAP logo.


Fruity watercress and chicken salad
Fruity watercress and chicken salad

The peppery taste of the watercress in this recipe goes well with the sweetness of the fruit. View Recipe

Salad wraps
Salad wraps

Make your own café-style wrap, so easy to make, and so tasty to eat. View Recipe

Watercress, orange and potato chicken salad
Watercress, orange and potato chicken salad

The peppery flavour of the watercress and rocket mixed with the sweet orange makes this a great tasting salad. View Recipe

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