Weeding the Wintercress

I've had to do some heavy weeding on a couple of my perennial vegetable beds - those beds which I've neglected to either plant with a weed-suppressing ground-cover or to mulch with sufficient grass cuttings or compost or the like!

Luckily things sometimes survive beneath the weeds and I was pleased to rescue some young variegated common wintercress plants, Barbarea vulgaris 'Variegata'.

Barbarea vulgaris 'Variegata'
Barbarea vulgaris 'Variegata'

I'd had common wintercress in my mind as a biennial plant but I bought some seeds for this plant earlier this year after reading in Stephen Barstow's book that it is sometimes a short-lived perennial. Or possibly a long-lived perennial - Stephen writes about a plant he has which is about 20 years old, although that one is sterile and may be a hybrid with B.vulgaris var. arcuata.

My wintercress should self-seed freely anyway, even if it doesn't last long. So now that it's been saved from the weeds I'll keep a patch going and look forward to enjoying its peppery flavour in winter salads.

N.B. I sell a range of perennial vegetable plants on my website.