Printer Friendly

plant of the week: nasturtium.

NASTURTIUMS are among the best vigorous annuals of late summer, producing bright green foliage and fierce red and orange flowers to cover the scruffy, dying foliage of early summer flowers, conceal untidy corners and scramble among faded clematis and honeysuckle.

They do not require much water or feed though they do demand good light. Plant pot-grown seedlings under the leafy cover of south and west-facing plants, and their bright shoots will quickly break cover and head towards the sun. The flowers are trumpet shaped with lobed petals at the mouth.

The nasturtium originated in South America, though its botanical name, tropaeolum, was taken from the Greek and Latin battlefield words for trophy - a tree trunk festooned by the winners with the losers' bloodied helmets and shields.

The familiar garden flower, Tropaeolum majus , used to be grown up poles hung with netting, showing off its shield-shaped leaves and scarlet flowers - hence the `trophy' connection.

`Nasturtium' comes from Pliny's term for pungent plants - taken from nasus for nose and tortus to twist - and now officially applied to watercress. But nasturtiums provide similarly crisp, peppery leaves, which add a tang to salads. The seed pods can be pickled when young and taste like capers.

CAPTION(S):

SUMMER JEWELS - experimental varieties of nasturtium at Unwins Seeds trial ground.
COPYRIGHT 2002 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 31, 2002
Words:214
Previous Article:SEABIRDS have been making the bird headlines this week as autumn migration steps up a gear. Point Lynas at the north east corner of Anglesey is...
Next Article:Gardening this weekend.


Related Articles
WATCH OUT FOR.
My camellia's a blooming failure; The Beechgrove Garden's Carolyn Spray answers your questions.
WEEKEND: GARDENING: HARDY ANNUALS FOR HALF-PRICE; GARDENING CLUB.
On the grapevine.
Rebellious plants bring excitement to the garden.
Botanical ying and yang; Getting to know the contrasts within the plant world The common nasturtium provides food as well as cover.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters