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Montana Field Guides

Watercress - Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum
Other Names:  Nasturtium officinale

Non-native Species

Global Rank: GNR
State Rank: SNA
C-value: 0

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Nearly glabrous perennial from fibrous-rooted rhizomes. Stems prostrate or floating, hollow, 10–70 cm long. Leaves all cauline, petiolate, 3–15 cm long; the blades simple and suborbicular or pinnately compound with lanceolate to elliptic lateral lobes and a larger, usually cordate terminal segment. Petals white, 3–5 mm long. Fruit a linear silique, 8–18 mm long, 1.8–2.6 mm wide, flattened; style 0.3–1 mm long; pedicels spreading to ascending, 6–15 mm long, the lowest often in leaf axils (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Introduced throughout temperate North America, native to Europe (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 119

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Slow water of springs and (often spring-fed) creeks; valleys, montane (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus rufocinctus (Thorp et al. 1983).


  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Craig, V.E. 1952. A story of fish production as it applies to Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 92 p.
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • Lainhart, R.D. 1973. Interaction of substrate particle size and other habitat variables, and their relation to the microdistribution of benthos in a Montana spring-stream. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 124 p.
    • Marcoux, R.G. 1969. Fish populations in Big Spring Creek, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University
    • Rasmussen, S.M. 1968. Composition and structure of macrophyte vegetation of the Firehole River, Yellowstone National Park as related to physical and chemical factors. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 44 p.
    • Tuinstra, K. E. 1967. Vegetation of the floodplains and first terraces of Rock Creek near Red Lodge, Montana. Ph.D dissertation. Montana State University, Bozeman 110 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Watercress — Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from