Species: Tropaeolum majus
Common names: garden nasturtium, Indian cress, monks cress Swedish name: indiankrasse
Tropaeolum is a genus of roughly 80 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants. It is the only genus in the family Tropaeolaceae commonly known as nasturtium. They received their common name because they produce an oil that is similar to that of watercress (Nasturtium officinale). Tropaeolum is native to South and Central America. It includes several very popular garden plants, the most commonly grown being T. majus, T. peregrinum and T. speciosum. Plants in this genus have showy, often intensely bright flowers, and rounded, shield-shaped leaves with the petiole in the centre. Nasturtiums are also considered widely useful as companion plants. Since they repel many garden pests and also attract beneficial predatory insects. As well as pollinators.
Tropaeolum majus is edible and has an intense taste reminding of watercress, especially the flowers. All parts of the plant can be used and are decorative in salads or adds taste to stir fried meals. The unripe seed pods can be dropped into spiced vinegar to produce a condiment and garnish, sometimes used in place of capers. The species are also grown as an ornamental plant and as a medicinal plant. Tropaeolum majus is widely cultivated, but it is listed as invasive in several areas, including Hawaii, Lord Howe Island, New Zealand.
Description: Tropaeolum majus is a herbaceous annual plant with trailing stems. The varieties are usually divided into two subgroups depending on the way they grow – bush-like or climbing.
How to grow: Tropaeolum majus prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade. It grows best in well-drained and poor soil. Too nutritious soil or too much added nitrogen, discourage the blossom in advantage of the foliage. It is draught tolerant and is one of a few that thrives together with conifers. Propagation is by seed – it sets true seeds so the mature seed pods can be collected and sown next year. It is easy to grow and can be planted in containers.
A collection of beauty
I have gathered some of the varieties of garden nasturtium. Just to show one of the greatest joys of gardening – diversity and choice of seeds. Lean back and enjoy – Tropaeolum majus:
Due to copyrights I could not add the pictures to my post but click on the variety and a new tab will open.