Gardening – Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are long, creeping roots that grow up to five to six inches long. They form a clump when growing, looking like small, furry sunflowers. The leaves have white, bi-colored petals and a purple, trumpet-shaped center. Nasturtium blooms on a tall stem up to three feet tall and grows in the shade.

Origin

The scientific name for nasturtiums is Tropaeolum minor. It was originally grown in Mexico and Peru and used as a flavoring. In the 16th century, it was brought to Europe where it was a symbol of conquest. In the Victorian era, its meaning shifted from being a symbol of conquest to a symbol of patriotism. Nasturtiums are now cultivated as a vegetable and are also eaten in Asian countries. The plant is often used in tea.

The flowers of Nasturtiums have long been used medicinally. In South America, Nasturtiums were used as a remedy for skin irritation and hair loss. Later, Nasturtiums were cultivated in Asia, where they were used to make nutritious teas. Despite their high vitamin C content, Nasturtiums quickly became a symbol of victory. Soldiers wearing Nasturtium-covered helmets were considered to have honor and triumph, and Nasturtiums were a popular symbol of victory.

History

Although native to the southern part of South America, the nasturtium plant was introduced to Europe by the conquistadors. The plant was first used by the Incas as a salad vegetable by the late 15th and early 16th centuries. In the 16th century, the Spaniard Nicolas Monardes brought the plant to Europe. He referred to the plant as “Indian cress” and documented its use for medicinal purposes. The plant was named after the ancient Roman trophy pole, which the Incas used to eat. In the 16th century, the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus introduced a taller, more robust plant, Tropaeum majus, which is a type of nasturtium. Both monardes and Linnaeus shared the seeds of n

Throughout the 18th century, the flowering Nasturtium became popular in gardens and were often used in cooking and as an ornamental plant. Nasturtium leaves and flowers were traditionally used in salads, and the pods were also used as a pepper substitute during World War II. Victory Gardens were popular during World War II due to the plant’s easy-to-grow nature, and its versatility.

Genus:

  • Tropaeolum majus

LIFECYCLE:

  • Nasturtiums are annual

Height:

  • 12 inches for a bush, 72 inches for vines

Spread:

  • 18 inches for bush

Description:

  • Distinctive, blue-green circular leaves are held up on fleshy stems. These annuals come in a variety of types ranging from compact bushes to long-spreading vines. They make an eye-catching addition to any garden. In addition, they have large attractive blooms that range in color from palest yellows, pinks, and apricots to deep, rich yellows, oranges, and burgundy. The vining types are great in hanging planters, window boxes, or for use on trellises and fences.

Ease of care:

  • Easy

How to grow:

  • Plant in full sun to partial shade in average to poor, moist soil.

Propagation:

  • By seed in late spring. They’re large and can be planted individually where the plants are going to grow

Common Pests

Nasturtiums are very beneficial for other plants. Its short, fleshy stems can grow to ten meters, while the leaves and flowers are small and tubular. Nasturtium flowers are borne in October to May. The fruit of this herb is green and ribbed. Nasturtiums have a wide variety of benefits, from attracting pollinators to fighting common pests.

Leaf-mining insects are another common problem. Leaf-mining pests live on the undersides of nasturtium leaves, sucking sap and leaving honeydew behind. While small populations of these pests are harmless, if you spot them on your nasturtium leaves, they could be a serious problem. Some species of leaf-mining insects produce toxins that can harm the plant.

Common Uses

Nasturtium is an annual flower that can be found growing in several colors during the summer. The colorful flower can grow in containers, hanging baskets, and even down a slope. Nasturtium leaves have a peppery flavor, making them a great addition to salads and salad garnishes. Their flavor is similar to that of cress or the herb parsley. Among its common uses are in cooking, salad garnishes, and as a condiment.

The leaves, flowers, and seeds of the nasturtium plant are edible. The plant’s leaves and flowers are excellent sources of nutrients, including vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants. Nasturtium leaves and flowers can be used in homemade pestos, salads, and sandwiches. The flowers can also be used as decorative flowers for cakes. The peppery flavor of Nasturtium is delicious on salads and sandwiches, and it can also be used in cooking.

Are Flower Edible

Are Nasturtium flowers edible? A common question on the culinary web is “yes.” Nasturtium flowers are widely used in salads in Spring and Summer. However, you can also try preserving them. You can sun dry the flowers for up to 24 hours, or bake them on low in the oven. Sun-dried flowers make delicious garnishes for sandwiches. And they’re also delicious in tea.

Although Nasturtium flowers make beautiful garnishes for salads, they aren’t edible by themselves. The leaves, however, can be eaten. Young leaves are milder than large leaves, which become tougher later in the season. If you’re looking for a milder taste, try slicing the leaves and preparing them in a similar fashion. Once you’ve gotten a hang of it, you can experiment with using Nasturtium flowers in your favorite recipes.