As well as playing an important part in sandwiches and salads, cress is now being used to help develop new methods of flood prevention.
Researchers at the University of Hull are growing mini cress forests, planting matchstick log jams and using a rainfall simulator to test natural flood prevention methods.
Scientists have created a scaled-down river catchment and forest area, planted in tens of tonnes of sand.
They are testing different magnitudes, intensities and frequencies of rainfall onto the model environment and analysing how the river system responds.
Professor Dan Parsons, Director of the Energy and Environment Institute, said: The great thing about this is that we can speed up time.
“We can use these scaled experiments and simulations to look at how effective these structures will be long term and what impact they will have on flood levels, how they affect the movement of sediments and ultimately how long they last.”