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Garden Nasturtium

Tropaeolum majus

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Tropaeolaceae (Nasturtium)
Life Cycle:
Annual or Perennial
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Gardens, roadsides, seaside, wasteland.

Orange, 5 petals
Flowers are usually orange but sometimes yellow, up to 6cm in size. The petals are slightly fringed. The flowers each have a long spur. 8 stamens, tipped with yellow pollen.
The fruit is a 3-parted seed pod, 2cm broad. The seeds ripen from August to October.
Light green leaves, circular in shape but variable in size (up to 15cm in diameter). The wavy-edged leaves have pale veins which spread from their centres to their outer edges. The stems are circular in cross-section and often tinged pinkish. A garden escape species (an annual climber), sometimes escaping into the wild.
Other Names:
Indian Cress, Monks Cress.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Tropaeolum majus, also known as garden nasturtium, is a flowering plant in the family Tropaeolaceae. It is native to South America but is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens and as a vegetable crop. The plant is an annual or perennial herb, growing up to 2 feet tall in ideal conditions. It has large, bright, showy flowers in various shades of orange, yellow, red, and pink. The leaves are rounded, lobed and also edible. The whole plant is edible and can be used in salads, sandwiches, and as a garnish for soups and other dishes. It is also used in traditional medicine, as the leaves and flowers contain compounds that have medicinal properties.


Garden Nasturtium, also known as Tropaeolum majus, is a beautiful and versatile flowering plant that is popular in gardens around the world. With its brightly colored blooms and edible leaves and flowers, the Garden Nasturtium is a favorite among gardeners and cooks alike. In this blog, we will explore the many uses and benefits of this lovely plant.

Appearance and Growth Habits

The Garden Nasturtium is a sprawling, bushy plant that can grow up to 2 feet tall and wide. Its leaves are large and round, with a slightly peppery taste that is similar to arugula. The flowers come in a wide range of colors, from bright yellows and oranges to deep reds and purples. Some varieties even have bi-colored flowers, with petals that are different colors on the top and bottom.

The Garden Nasturtium is a hardy plant that grows well in a variety of conditions. It prefers full sun and well-draining soil, but can also tolerate some shade and poor soil. It is also resistant to pests and diseases, making it an easy and low-maintenance plant to grow.

Uses in the Garden

One of the main reasons gardeners love the Garden Nasturtium is its ornamental value. The bright, cheerful flowers add a pop of color to any garden, and the plant's bushy growth habit makes it a great choice for filling in empty spaces. It also attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, which can help to improve the health of your garden overall.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Garden Nasturtium also has practical uses in the garden. Its leaves and flowers can be used as a natural insect repellent, and its sprawling growth habit can help to suppress weeds. Some gardeners even use the plant as a companion to vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers, as it is believed to help repel pests like aphids and whiteflies.

Uses in the Kitchen

The Garden Nasturtium is also a favorite among cooks and foodies, thanks to its edible leaves and flowers. The leaves have a slightly peppery taste that is similar to arugula or watercress, while the flowers have a milder, sweeter flavor. Both can be used in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes to add a pop of color and flavor.

The flowers can also be used to make a natural dye, which can be used to color fabrics and other materials. And because the Garden Nasturtium is an easy plant to grow and propagate, it is a great choice for anyone interested in natural dyeing.

In addition to its culinary and dyeing uses, the Garden Nasturtium also has medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and skin conditions.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are a gardener, a cook, or simply a lover of beautiful plants, the Garden Nasturtium is a must-have in any collection. With its bright colors, easy growing habits, and versatile uses, it is a plant that can bring joy and value to your life in many different ways. So why not add a few seeds to your garden this season, and see what this lovely plant can do for you?


Here are a few additional facts and tips about Garden Nasturtium that you may find interesting:

  1. The name "Nasturtium" comes from the Latin words "nasus tortus," which mean "twisted nose." This is a reference to the plant's peppery taste, which can cause a slight tingling sensation in the nose when eaten.

  2. The Garden Nasturtium is native to South America, where it has been grown for centuries for both ornamental and medicinal purposes.

  3. In addition to its edible leaves and flowers, the Garden Nasturtium also produces seeds that can be pickled and used as a substitute for capers.

  4. To encourage bushy growth and more flowers, pinch back the tips of the plant as it grows. This will stimulate branching and help the plant produce more blooms.

  5. Garden Nasturtium can be grown from both seeds and cuttings. If you want to grow it from cuttings, simply take a stem cutting and place it in a pot of moist soil. Keep the soil moist and the cutting should root within a few weeks.

  6. When planting Garden Nasturtium, be sure to space the plants at least 6-12 inches apart to allow for their sprawling growth habit.

  7. While Garden Nasturtium is generally considered safe to eat, some people may experience digestive upset or skin irritation after consuming it. If you are new to eating Nasturtium, it's best to start with a small amount and see how your body reacts before consuming larger quantities.The Garden Nasturtium is a great companion plant for many vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans. It is believed to help repel pests like aphids and whiteflies, and its sprawling growth habit can help to suppress weeds.
  8. If you want to save seeds from your Garden Nasturtium plant, simply allow the flowers to fade and dry on the plant. Once they are dry, you can collect the seeds and store them in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant them.

  9. Garden Nasturtium is a popular plant for children's gardens, as its large seeds are easy to handle and its bright, colorful flowers are sure to capture their attention. It can also be a great way to introduce kids to gardening and cooking, as they can help to plant, harvest, and prepare the plant's leaves and flowers.

  10. The Garden Nasturtium has a long history of medicinal use, particularly in South America and Europe. It has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and skin conditions.

  11. Some studies have suggested that the Garden Nasturtium may have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which could make it useful for treating certain infections.

In conclusion, the Garden Nasturtium is a versatile and valuable plant that can bring beauty, flavor, and health benefits to your garden and kitchen. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a curious beginner, this lovely plant is well worth exploring. With its easy growing habits, bright colors, and delicious flavor, it is sure to become a favorite in your garden for years to come.