Water Pimpernel, Water Purpie (Scotland)
FR: Beccabunga, Cresson de cheval (chien), Veronique cressonnee GER: Bachbunge
IT: Veronica or Beccabunga or Erba grassa
BOT: Veronica beccabunga
ILL: Plate 16, No. 4
In Britain, this wild salad plant is common in ponds, streams and marshy places. It has small blue flowers and rather large, smooth, round, fleshy leaves, which can be mixed like watercress in a green salad.
As with watercress or any other wild salad plant which grows in water, it is necessary to make sure that the water is not contaminated with sewage. In many countries it is unwise to eat water-growing plants in restaurants, although I have on occasion eaten plants from the Nile without suffering any unpleasant consequences. I did it only from curiosity and was probably just lucky. Incidentally, the common habit in the East of washing salad vegetables in dilute permanganate and potash to clean them is virtually useless.