|Tropaeolum majus subsp. var.||Nasturtium, Garden Nasturtium, Indian Cress|
Tropaeolum majus (Garden Nasturtium, Indian Cress or Monks Cress) is a flowering plant in the family Tropaeolaceae, originating in South America in the Andes from Bolivia north to Colombia. It is of cultivated, probably hybrid origin, with possible parent species including T. minus, T. moritzianum, T. peltophorum, and T. peregrinum.
It is a herbaceous annual plant with trailing stems growing to 1 m long or more. The leaves are large, nearly circular, 3-15 cm diameter, green to glaucous green above, paler below; they are peltate, with the 5-30 cm long petiole near the middle of the leaf, with several veins radiating to the smoothly rounded or slightly lobed margin. The flowers are 2.5–6 cm diameter, with five petals, eight stamens, and a 2.5–3 cm long nectar spur at the rear; they vary from yellow to orange to red, frilled and often darker at the base of the petals. The fruit is 2 cm broad, three-segmented, each segment with a single large seed 1–1.5 cm long.
Garden Nasturtiums are grown for their flowers, and also because both their leaves and flowers are edible; they can be used in salads, imparting a delicately peppery taste. The seeds are also edible, and can be used as a caper substitute.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Tropaeolum majus, Linn. Strong-growing somewhat succulent climbing annual: lvs. peltate, nearly orbicular and undulate-angled: fls. large, mostly in shades of yellow or orange, with straight spur, the 2 upper petals entire or undulate (not apiculate), the 3 lower ones narrower and fringed on the claws. Peru, Colombia, and Brazil.—This species has been in cult. in Eu. since 1684. It is the foundation of the common climbing nasturtiums. Some of these garden forms are probably the offspring of hybridization with T. peltophorum. Some of the horticultural color forms are atropurpureum, dark red; atropurpureum foliis-aureis, with golden yellow lvs.; coccineum, scarlet and the form of it with golden lvs. known as coccineum foliis-aureis; Heinemannii, chocolate; hemisphericum, light yellow; luteum, yellow; Regelianum, purple-violet; Scheuerianum, straw-colored, dotted; Scheuerianum coccineum, scarlet, striped; Schillingii, yellow, brown-spotted; Schulzii, scarlet, with dark lvs. Var. flore-pleno, Hort., is a strain with double fls. occurring in different colors. Var. nanum, Hort. Tom Thumb Nasturtiums. A dwarf strain occurring in numerous color-forms, some of which are atrococcineum, brilliant scarlet; atropurpureum, dark purplish red; atrosanguineum, a deep blood-red; coccineum, scarlet and also the golden-lvd. form offered as nanum coccineum foliis-aureis; caeruleo-roseum, dark rose; luteum, clear yellow; Regelianum, purple-violet. CH
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
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