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Winter-cress

This grows as a biennial or perennial herb on waste ground, beside riverbanks, and roadside verges around the South and East of Scotland. Also known as Yellow Rocket, Rocketcress, or Winter Rocket, the leaves are shaped similar to other rocket plants, and are edible, being rich in Vitamins C and A. It is a common sight in spring growing along stretches of road.

The tiny yellow flowers are 7-9mm across and appear at the top of multiple erect hairless stems in club-shaped terminal clusters. The petals are paler yellow at the base, with lighter yellow stamens and small creamy-white stigma. Sepals are greenish yellow.

The leaves, deeply lobed, with a large terminal lobe at the end and smaller lobes at the base, grow alternately up the stems, larger at the bottom and often in a rosette shape near the ground. The upper leaves are smaller.

The fruit is a long thin greenish siliqua, short and often curved like a banana with slightly squared sides.

 As an edible leaf it is better eaten when young, as the flavour becomes bitter with age. It has a peppery taste and works well mixed with less flavoursome leaves in a salad.

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