Nasturtiums have been grown for centuries both for their colour & variety of uses in the kitchen.
They originate from South America & Central America, from Mexico to Chile.
They are strong both in colour & flavour and are prolific climbers & can also provide a stunning hanging display that looks as if there is no end in sight. They are terrific as ground cover or as a feature hanging plant in baskets.
And these happy & bright flowering plants with a mind of their own have been the inspiration for many an art work, in the art deco period, to today.
You may have gone for your afternoon stroll with family or pet in tow and passed many a rambling nasturtium bushes with their bright & almost blinding glorious orange or yellow colours, & not have given it a second thought.
But listen up and be surprised – the whole plant is edible and attributed with having health benefits such as vitamin c & the ability to fight fungal infections & be wonderful for bronchitis.
They are easy to grow & it doesn’t stop there – you can make “poor man's capers” from the seed, salad from the leaves & flowers, pesto from the leaves, use the large leaves to wrap your favourite mince meat mix, mix a batch of nasturtium butter & anything else that you can dream up.
You should be able to purchase seeds at your local garden shop and simply plant them in moist soil in a sunny spot or buy the ready to plant mixed punnet from your local Bunnings.
Even if you use a pot, don’t be surprised if it overtakes the surrounding area. You will be rewarded & maybe overwhelmed with a dazzling orange sea of flowers & the beautifully shaped lily pad like leaves.
The taste of this stunning plant is strong, don’t be fooled, its peppery & chilly all at once, like a radish but with a refreshing
zest. You should do a taste test & sample the flower, seeds & leaves separately, so that you become familiar with the different strength of taste from each part of the plant.
Happy Nasturtium growing