Cress, Curled (Lepidium sativum) - 500 Seeds

Southern Seed Exchange

$1.85 $3.70

Curly Cress (Lepidium sativum) - 500 Seeds

•American grown seeds
•Waterfowl Friendly
•USDA Zones: 3-12

Curly cress has finely divided leaves resembling parsley or chervil atop thin, branching stems. Curly cress is dark green and is also called curled cress, curlicress, fine curled cress, moss curled cress, and extra-curled cress. Curly cress is a biennial that thrives in damp soil. Quick growing cool-weather vegetables, cress has many forms. Plant curly cress early in the spring, in late summer or fall in moist but well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter.

Culinary Uses:
With a zesty, spicy flavor, leaves can be used in salads, sandwiches, or in soups and sauces as a potherb. Fancy leaves make a fancy garnish.

Medicinal Uses:
Eating cress daily has the ability to significantly reduce DNA damage to cells and further to resist DNA damage caused by free radicals, according to a two-year research project at the University of Ulster. Scientists examined a cress-derived compound called phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) and found significant anticancer properties. Single blind, randomized, crossover trials involved 60 healthy men and women eating about 1½ cups of fresh watercress daily for eight weeks. Positive results included a reduction in triglyceride levels by an average of 10%, and a significant (33% to 100%) increase in lutein and beta carotene content, associated, with higher intake levels, in a lowered incidence of eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Scientific research found that the PEITC in watercress may suppress breast cancer cell development. Studies at the University of Southampton study found PEITC may starve tumor growth and oxygen by "turning off" a signal in the body. Researchers explained that "as tumors develop, they rapidly outgrow their existing supply so they send out signals that make surrounding normal tissues grow new which feed them oxygen and nutrients.

Planting Instructions:
Curled Cress grows nearly anywhere, but it prefers rich, moist, well drained soil and full sun or partial shade. Since it is a cool weather plant and excess heat tends to give the leaves a bitter taste, it should be grown in the spring and fall in most areas. After the last spring frost or in late summer, direct sow the seeds 1/4" deep in rows 6" apart, thinning to 3-6" apart when the seedlings appear. If planning to harvest cress at a small size, the plants can be spaced 2-3" apart. Keep the ground moist for the best growth. For a continuous harvest, sow a new crop every 10 days. Cress also grows well indoors for sprouting, since it does not need soil for germination. Weed control and sufficient moisture are crucial to the healthy growth of cress. Since it has shallow roots, take care not to disturb them when removing weeds. A layer of mulch often helps conserve moisture and control weeds.

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Collections: Herbs