These cresses are perennial, and likes cool weather. In the American south, you can find them almost as soon as the snow starts thawing.
They have small, dark, glossy green somewhat heart-shaped leaves, sometimes tending to have a blunt, squarish shape to them. The leaves have smooth edges.
The leaves have a hot bite to their taste.
The plants grows 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) tall. They are best harvested when 4 inches (10 cm) tall and before they develop flowers, or the leaves can taste bitter after that. You pick the leaves, leaving the stems so that the plant will produce more leaves, or you can pull the whole plant.
The leaves can be used as an herb for flavouring and garnish, or can be used cooked as greens, or used raw in salads.
You can buy these cresses canned. Warm the canned ones and serve them as a green vegetable, perhaps dressed with a shake or two of vinegar.
Note that though they are sometimes referred to as Creecy Greens, that is not the same as “Greasy Greens” (aka “kilt lettuce.”)
American south preparation method: Simmer in fresh leaves in water, then add a piece of fat to the water. Par-boil and then pressure-cook for about 15 minutes, then fry in bacon grease.
Simmons, Morgan. Kings and Queens of Creasy Greens. Tennesse: Knoxville News Sentinel. 19 March 2006.