All US states (non native)
Up to 3 feet, generally growing sideways
Streams, marshes, lakeshores, swamp ground
Up to 6 inches long, odd-pinnately divided into 3 to 9 leaflets (occasionally up to 13)
March to November
Nasturtium officinale has spread from Europe and Asia across most areas of the US, especially west of the Rocky Mountains. The plant grows in or near water; its stems are light and hollow, allowing them to float on the surface of streams and lakes. Leaves are edible, and the plant has a long history of cultivation as a salad vegetable. Stems and leaves are smooth and usually hairless. Leaves are divided into an odd number of non-overlapping leaflets, somewhat variable in shape, often with slightly rippled or toothed edges.
The inflorescence is a densely-packed, spherical cluster, typical of the brassicaceae family; flowers have four unfused, greenish-yellow sepals and four white petals, slightly unequally spaced, with bilateral rather than radial symmetry. The flower center contains six stamens, about the same height as the petals, and a style, which gradually lengthens after pollination to form the slender fruit.