Tropaeolum majus is an annual plant. It is from the Tropaeolaceae family of plants. It is native to Central and South America. It is also known as Nasturtium (meaning nose-twister), Nasturtium, Common Nasturtium, Mexican Cress, Peruvian Cress, Indian Cress, or Garden Nasturtium. It is fast and easy-grower. Tropaeolum majus rewards you with flowers for a long season, practically from spring to winter.
Tropaeolum majus is a climber, ground cover, or a small bush. It usually grows about 12in or 30cm high but if it is trained to climb it can climb as tall as 8ft or 2.4m. Tropaeolum majus has funnel-shaped flowers. They are bright yellow and orange. They have five petals. The leaves are peltate, round, and almost parasol-like. Tropaeolum majus is aromatic.
How to grow Tropaeolum majus:
Grow Tropaeolum majus in the sun. Plant in average soil but well-drained. Very rich soil will increase foliage and reduce flowers. They tolerate shade but the sun is better. In a very hot climate, a bit of shade will help as they do like cool summers.
Tropaeolum majus are generally disease-free and pest-free. They are also deer-resistant. Watch out for blackfly or caterpillars, slugs, and flea beetles. You can deadhead Tropaeolum majus to increase flowering. They attract butterflies.
Propagate by seeds. Tropaeolum majus seeds are large and black. It produces a 2cm or 1/2in fruits after flowers are done. Tropaeolum majus self-seeds. Plant the seeds early for a longer season. Sowing as late as May will give you a nice flowering season.
All the above-ground parts of the Tropaeolum majus are edible. Tropaeolum majus tastes slightly peppery. They use it in salads, the leaves and the flowers. It has the same vitamin C nutritional level as parsley. Sometimes they put unripe seed pods in vinegar and use it instead of capers.