Nasturtium

28 Feb

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum) deciduous perennial or annual, spreads to 6 ft., colors include orange, yellow, red, blooms almost year round in the Bay Area, flowers are fragrant and both leaves and flowers are good in salad. Full sun to part shade. Reseeds prolifically.

Old-fashioned favorites from South America. Distinctive appearance, rapid growth, and easy culture are three of their many strong points.

Tropaeolum majus

Tropaeolum majus 
Two main kinds: climbing types, which trail over ground or climb to 6 ft. by coiling leafstalks; and compact, bushy, dwarf kinds to 1 1/2 ft. high and wide (dwarf types are more widely sold). Both have round bright green leaves on long stalks. Long-spurred flowers to 2 1/2 in. across have a refreshing fragrance, come in colors including maroon, red brown, orange, yellow, red, creamy white. You can get seeds of mixed colors in several strains; some single colors are also sold. Both single- and double- flowered forms are available. All varieties make good cut flowers. Young leaves, flowers, and unripe seedpods have a peppery flavor and are frequently used in salads.

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