Sunday, September 9, 2007

Nasturtium ~ Time To Say Goodbye

Tropaeolum minus

After struggling through a long hot summer, the last of my Tropaeolum minus (Nasturtium) is ready to "buy the farm" so to speak. I should have cleared them out long before now as they were becoming leggy and scraggly even in July. Moreover, flower production became sporadic as summer dragged on, and the leaves were chlorotic. Their bedraggled appearance signaled the end was near, or should have been, but I just let them be until now.
Although the flowers of Nasturtium are attractive and colorful--I like the 'Dwarf Jewel' mix--my major reason for growing them is that I love to use the leaves and flowers in salads. The taste reminds me of watercress; others think Nasturtium tastes like radishes. Some even think it's too bitter to eat. It definitely has a spicy, peppery flavor. The name, Nasturtium, is of Latin origin and means "nose twister," no doubt referring to its pungent flavor.
Nasturtium leaves are especially good when the plant is young. As the plant gets older and the weather gets hotter--so does taste of the leaves and flowers. Since I am not a cook, I haven't expanded beyond salads and Nasturtium Vinaigrette, but there are numerous recipes using Nasturtiums that sound delicious. I wonder if I could convince my nieces, who are quite the chefs, to whip something up for me!


23 comments:

Mark said...

Hi Aiyana,
I love Nasturtiums, they are so colourful and quite useful too. I wonder what your neices will whip up for you.
It's also good to have a plant that works both their and here.

sisah said...

I did not know there are such a lot of recipes for nasturniums, thank you so much! But I am afraid I can´t try them, this is the second year here they would not really grow. The cultivar "Black Velvet" in a patio container is still small and has only two blossoms. I hope we will get a sunny and warm autumn, so that they can grow a bit more.

farmingfriends said...

What a bright and colourful bloom. I like the way you edit your photographs with the border. sAra from farmingfriends

Opal Tribble/Vegan Momma said...

This is truly lovely! I haven't planted these in a few years. I never ate them so I'll definitely try that out when I plant them next year.

MrBrownThumb said...

Did you mention what variety you had? From the color it looks like M. Velvet. I like that one a lot, I have to find seeds for it.

Genie said...

You know, Aiyana, I still haven't actually tried to eat any of my nasturtiums? I really like the sound of nasturtium vinaigrette -- delicious!

Dirty Knees said...

Nasturtiums are one of my favourite annuals but they didn't grow well for me this year (I have no idea why!), so it's great to see some lovely nasturtium blooms.

Jean said...

Love the color with the sunshining behind. Great shot!

Laurie & Chris said...

Great picture. We have never ate those but we have had pumpkin flowers before. Thank you for stopping by!

TopVeg said...

I really like that photo - it is so subtle. You can eat the pickled seeds, too

Michelle said...

These are beautiful! Can I grow these is 8A? :)

Moe said...

Beautiful! Well done!

Ann M. said...

Beautiful photograph! I didn't realize you could eat Nasturtium. I might have to plant some next year :)

Muum said...

I love the smell of nasturtiums, my mother always grew them in our vegetable garden when I was a child, and that smell reminds me of those days. I have tasted the leaves, they are a bit peppery!

chigiy said...

Nice photo.
I love the red color of your nasturtiums. I usually grow the yellow orange kind. I also have some dark pink ones that are really pretty.
I like them in salads too.

Kylee said...

I ripped my nasturtiums out last week. They were just as you've described here. Plus I had those black aphids all over them. Some people plant them just to attract those aphids and keep them off other things, but they're GROSS!

I don't think I'll grow them again next year. I've had them for two years now and they're not one of my favorites anymore.

Love the picture of yours, though. That color is so rich!

Beth said...

Beautiful photo!

Pudgeduck said...

I had to pull mine out in June. Did you have then planted in the ground? This year everything in my pots were dead by june 15th!Pudge

No Rain said...

Thanks, everyone for the comments.
Mr. BT,
Yes, this is the 'Black Velvet" cultivar. It seems to last longer than the lighter colors.
Michelle,
This is an annual in all USDA Zones.
Pudge,
All my Nasturtiums are grown in large wok planters.

kate said...

I love Nasturium leaves in salads. I should try growing them again. When I moved here in 2001, I thought that I'd have the same luck with them as I did in my Ottawa garden. They bombed and I lost heart. Next year ... since I've become better at figuring out what does well where in this garden.

I had no idea where the name, Nasturium, came from - now I do. Thank you!

m said...

I have just planted nasturium seed in the garden for summer .Your lovely picture makes me glad I did .
sweetpea

Ladynred said...

Beautiful red flower. Love the color.

Alice said...

I also love nasturtiums and that colour is gorgeous. I have seen them trailing all over a garden mixed with blue and white petunias - it was stunning.

Also like the taste of the leaves and often pick off a leaf to eat as I go past - have to check for green caterpillars first though.