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Tropaeolum majus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Brassicales*
Family: Tropaeolaceae
Genus: Tropaeolum

About 80 species, see text.
* In older traditional systems placed
in the Geraniales

Nasturtium (literally "nose-twister" or "nose-tweaker"), as a common name, refers to a genus of roughly 80 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants Tropaeolum ("Trophy"), one of three genera in the family Tropaeolaceae. It should not be confused with the Watercresses of the genus Nasturtium, of the Mustard family. This genus, native to South and Central America, includes several very popular garden plants, the most commonly grown being T. majus, T. peregrinum and T. speciosum. The hardiest species is T. polyphyllum from Chile, the perennial roots of which can survive underground when air temperatures drop as low as -15°C (5°F).

They have showy, often intensely bright flowers (the intense color can make macrophotography quite difficult), and rounded, peltate (shield-shaped) leaves with the petiole in the center. The flowers have five petals (sometimes more), a three-carpelled ovary, and a funnel-shaped nectar tube in the back.

Tropaeolum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Dot Moth and Garden Carpet. A very common "pest" found on Nasturtium in particular is the caterpillar of the Large White (Cabbage White) Butterfly.

The Nasturtiums receive their name from the fact that they produce an oil that is similar to that produced by Watercress (Nasturtium officinale), from the family Brassicaceae.

Cultivation and uses

In cultivation, most varieties of nasturtiums prefer to be grown in direct or indirect sunlight, with a few preferring partial shade.

The most common use of the nasturtium plant in cultivation is as an ornamental flower. It grows easily and prolifically, and is a self-seeding annual.

It is also edible, making for an especially ornamental salad ingredient, and is used in stir fry. All parts of the plant are edible, not just the flower and leaves. The flowers can be added to salads for an exotic look and taste; they have a slightly peppery taste reminiscent of Watercress. The unripe seed pods can be harvested and pickled with hot vinegar, to produce a condiment and garnish, sometimes used in place of capers, although the taste is strongly peppery. The mashua (T. tuberosum) produces an edible underground tuber that is a major food source in parts of the Andes.

Nasturtiums are also considered widely useful companion plants. They repel a great many cucurbit pests, like squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and several caterpillars. They had a similar range of benefits for brassica plants, especially broccoli and cauliflower. They also attract black fly aphids, and are sometimes planted in the hope of saving crops susceptible to them. They may also attract beneficial, predatory insects.

See list of companion plants


  • Tropaeolum adpressum
  • Tropaeolum aduncum
  • Tropaeolum albiflorum
  • Tropaeolum argentinum
  • Tropaeolum asplundii
  • Tropaeolum atrocapillare
  • Tropaeolum azureum
  • Tropaeolum beuthii
  • Tropaeolum bicolor
  • Tropaeolum bimaculatum
  • Tropaeolum bogotense
  • Tropaeolum boliviense
  • Tropaeolum brachyceras
  • Tropaeolum brasiliense
  • Tropaeolum brideanum
  • Tropaeolum bridgesii
  • Tropaeolum buchenaui
  • Tropaeolum buchenauianum
  • Tropaeolum calcaratum
  • Tropaeolum calvum
  • Tropaeolum capillare
  • Tropaeolum carchense
  • Tropaeolum chilense
  • Tropaeolum chrysanthum
  • Tropaeolum chymocarpus
  • Tropaeolum ciliatum
  • Tropaeolum cirrhipes
  • Tropaeolum coccineum
  • Tropaeolum cochabambae
  • Tropaeolum concavum
  • Tropaeolum concinneum
  • Tropaeolum canariense
  • Tropaeolum crenatiflorum
  • Tropaeolum crenatum
  • Tropaeolum cubio
  • Tropaeolum curvirostre
  • Tropaeolum cuspidatum
  • Tropaeolum deckerianum
  • Tropaeolum dentatifolium
  • Tropaeolum denticualtum
  • Tropaeolum digitatum
  • Tropaeolum dipetalum
  • Tropaeolum edule
  • Tropaeolum elatum
  • Tropaeolum elegans
  • Tropaeolum elzae
  • Tropaeolum emarginatum
  • Tropaeolum equatoriense

  • Tropaeolum ferreyrae
  • Tropaeolum fintelmannii
  • Tropaeolum flavipilum
  • Tropaeolum floribundum
  • Tropaeolum fulvum
  • Tropaeolum funckii
  • Tropaeolum gaertnerianum
  • Tropaeolum garciae
  • Tropaeolum glaucescens
  • Tropaeolum glaucum
  • Tropaeolum glaziovii
  • Tropaeolum gracile
  • Tropaeolum guatemalense
  • Tropaeolum harlingii Sparre
  • Tropaeolum hayneanum
  • Tropaeolum hieronymii
  • Tropaeolum hirsutum
  • Tropaeolum hirtifolium
  • Tropaeolum hjertingii
  • Tropaeolum hookerianum
  • Tropaeolum hortense
  • Tropaeolum hughesae
  • Tropaeolum huigrense
  • Tropaeolum huynhii
  • Tropaeolum hybridum
  • Tropaeolum incisum
  • Tropaeolum incrassatum
  • Tropaeolum infundibularum
  • Tropaeolum integrifolium
  • Tropaeolum jilesii
  • Tropaeolum karstenii
  • Tropaeolum kerneisinum
  • Tropaeolum killipii
  • Tropaeolum kingii
  • Tropaeolum klotzschii
  • Tropaeolum kuntzeanum
  • Tropaeolum lasseri
  • Tropaeolum lechleri
  • Tropaeolum lehmannii
  • Tropaeolum leichtlinii
  • Tropaeolum leonis
  • Tropaeolum lepidum
  • Tropaeolum leptoceras
  • Tropaeolum leptophyllum
  • Tropaeolum lindenii
  • Tropaeolum linearifolium
  • Tropaeolum lobbianum
  • Tropaeolum lobbii

  • Tropaeolum longiflorum
  • Tropaeolum longifolium
  • Tropaeolum looseri
  • Tropaeolum luteum
  • Tropaeolum macrophyllum
  • Tropaeolum macrophyllum
  • Tropaeolum maculatum
  • Tropaeolum maculifolium
  • Tropaeolum magnificum
  • Tropaeolum majus
  • Tropaeolum marginatum
  • Tropaeolum mathewsii
  • Tropaeolum menispermifolium
  • Tropaeolum mexiae
  • Tropaeolum meyeri
  • Tropaeolum minimum
  • Tropaeolum minus
  • Tropaeolum moritzianum
  • Tropaeolum morreanum
  • Tropaeolum mucronatum
  • Tropaeolum myriophyllum
  • Tropaeolum nubigenum
  • Tropaeolum nuptae-jucundae
  • Tropaeolum olmosense
  • Tropaeolum orinocense
  • Tropaeolum orthoceras
  • Tropaeolum oxalidanthum
  • Tropaeolum paniculatum
  • Tropaeolum papillosum
  • Tropaeolum parviflorum
  • Tropaeolum parvifolium
  • Tropaeolum patagonicum
  • Tropaeolum pellucidum
  • Tropaeolum peltophorum
  • Tropaeolum pendulum
  • Tropaeolum pentagonum
  • Tropaeolum pentaphyllum
  • Tropaeolum peregrinum
  • Tropaeolum pilosum
  • Tropaeolum piltophorum
  • Tropaeolum pinnatum
  • Tropaeolum polyphyllum
  • Tropaeolum popelari
  • Tropaeolum porifolium
  • Tropaeolum prostratum
  • Tropaeolum pseudopubescens
  • Tropaeolum pubescens

  • Tropaeolum pulchellum
  • Tropaeolum purpureum
  • Tropaeolum quinatum
  • Tropaeolum quinquelobum
  • Tropaeolum rectangulum
  • Tropaeolum reichianum
  • Tropaeolum reineckeanum
  • Tropaeolum repandum
  • Tropaeolum rhizophorum
  • Tropaeolum rhomboideum
  • Tropaeolum sanctae-catharinae
  • Tropaeolum schlimii
  • Tropaeolum seemannii
  • Tropaeolum septangulum
  • Tropaeolum septemlobatum
  • Tropaeolum sessilifolium
  • Tropaeolum smithii
  • Tropaeolum speciosum
  • Tropaeolum steyermarkianum
  • Tropaeolum stipulatum
  • Tropaeolum suberosum
  • Tropaeolum subincrassatum
  • Tropaeolum tenellum
  • Tropaeolum tenuirostre
  • Tropaeolum tenuirostre
  • Tropaeolum tomentosum
  • Tropaeolum traceyae
  • Tropaeolum trialatum
  • Tropaeolum trialatum
  • Tropaeolum tricolor
  • Tropaeolum tricolori-brachyceras
  • Tropaeolum trilobum
  • Tropaeolum trilobum
  • Tropaeolum tuberosum
  • Tropaeolum umbellatum
  • Tropaeolum unilobatum
  • Tropaeolum vargasianum
  • Tropaeolum venezuelae
  • Tropaeolum venosum
  • Tropaeolum violaceum
  • Tropaeolum violaeflorum
  • Tropaeolum wagnerianum
  • Tropaeolum warmingianum
  • Tropaeolum warscewiczii
  • Tropaeolum weberbaueri
  • Tropaeolum willinkii
  • Tropaeolum yarrati

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nasturtium". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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