Manor Farm Herbs
Manor Farm
Fringford
Bicester
Oxfordshire OX27 8DP

Variegated Landcress

Barbarea vulgaris 'Variegata'

Height:
Low growing with flower spikes of 30cm (1ft)
Suitable for:
Moist and rich soil almost anywhere!
Variegated Landcress: Barbarea vulgaris 'Variegata'

This hardy salad herb deserves to be more popular. It has a fiery peppery taste similar to watercress but is far easier to grow. The leaves are particularly attractive with large irregular splashes of cream which contrast well with the dark green background of the foliage. The plants overwinter well, and if given a bit of protection will carry on producing leaves for picking throughout the winter to liven up your winter salads. The plant flowers in mid-summer with spikes of bright yellow flowers which will, if left, self seed to give more plants, or the seed can be saved and resown the following spring.

The leaves are best eaten young as they become even more fiery with age and the variegated colour looks particularly attractive in mixed salads along with red lettuce, chicory and edible flowers such as pot marigold and nasturtium.

Also known as American Cress and Winter Cress, the herb is a native of Europe and has been in culinary use in salads for a long time.