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Any of several plants of the mustard family, of interest for their spicy young basal leaves, which are used in salads and as seasonings and garnishes. Watercress is perhaps the most popular of the edible cresses. Common garden cress, or peppergrass (Lepidium sativum) is widely grown, especially in its curl-leaved form, and used as a garnish. Others include weeds (e.g., Barbarea vulgaris), wild varieties (e.g., Cardamine pratensis), and ornamentals (e.g., Arabis species).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cress, visit Britannica.com.