NASTURTIUM

GARDEN NASTURTIUM

Tropaeolum majus

Nasturtium Family [Tropaeolaceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

category
category8Climbers
sometimes
status
statusZneophyte
 
status
statusZcasual
 

flower
flower8orange
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8red
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZtrumpet
type
typeZspurred
stem
stem8round

24th Sept 2014, Kirkby, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Sometimes when the opportunity arises Nasturtium will climb, at other times it remains a dwarf. Found in gardens, from where it may escape into the wild.


12th Sept 2014, nr. Burnley, Leeds & Liverpool canal. Photo: © RWD
Usually it is recumbent and low-lying. Flowers are usually orange. Leaves round and very variable in size. Stems somewhat succulent (see pinkish ones).


12th Sept 2014, nr. Burnley, Leeds & Liverpool canal. Photo: © RWD
Flowers have 5 petals.


23rd Aug 2015, newly disturbed road verges, East Lancs Rd, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
Five sepals number. Eight stamens. Petals are entirely free (not joined together)


23rd Aug 2015, newly disturbed road verges, East Lancs Rd, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
Stamens tipped with yellow pollen. Lower down into the depths of the flower the petals are fringed with long very narrow 'teeth'.


23rd Aug 2015, newly disturbed road verges, East Lancs Rd, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
Flowers usually orange.


10th Sept 2014, Kirkby, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Flowers may be either red or yellow, but not as frequently as they are orange. Petal fringes visible. The yellow version also shows up the darker-red-orange markings on the upper two petals. The flower is zygomorphic, with bilateral symmetry.


23rd Aug 2015, newly disturbed road verges, East Lancs Rd, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
The petals are not joined to each other. The rear of the flower has a long spur.


10th Sept 2014, Kirkby, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The spur is also asymetrically mounted, as is the petiole (flower stalk). The spur is formed by modified of one of the five sepals.


23rd Aug 2015, newly disturbed road verges, East Lancs Rd, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
A half-opened flower bud.


23rd Aug 2015, newly disturbed road verges, East Lancs Rd, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are round and with a slightly wavy margin. Pale-green veins radiate to an off-centre location where the stem adjoins underneath. Leaf mid-green atop; paler underneath.


23rd Aug 2015, newly disturbed road verges, East Lancs Rd, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
The leaf is 'peltate' (from underneath has the shape of a drawing pin with stalk in the middle).


23rd Aug 2015, newly disturbed road verges, East Lancs Rd, Walkden. Photo: © RWD
Between the radiate veins is a small interlinking network of veins. The veins have very short pale-green hairs concolorous with the underside of the leaf.


Not to be semantically confused with : the Genus Nasturtium () [in which resides several species of Water-cress, such as Water-cress itself (Nasturtium officinale) (formerly Rorippa nasturtium-aquatica)] which are in the Cabbage Family (Brassicaceae)

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

It is an annual and is not native to the UK, but grown in gardens from where it sometimes escapes. There are many cultivars of this plant sold by horticulturalists. The plant can climb up to 2m given opportunity (such as by means of a fence or by scrambling through taller plants) but is normally found as dwarf to 20cm. The flowers are edible and used as decoration in salads or as a garnish for both savoury dishes and desserts. The leaves and seed pods are also edible (although the seeds themselves are toxic and should not be eaten!), all having a pleasant peppery taste.

The plant is a semi-succulent, with thick, pale-pink juicy stems. The flowers are solitary emerging on longish stalls from leaf-axils. The flower is usually orange, but can be red or yellow with a long spur at the rear and is zygomorphic. The five petals are free (not conjoined).

A GLUCOSINOLATE


Nasturtium is widely known as a medicinal plant containing, like plants of the Cabbage Family (Brassicaceae) the glycosides of mustard oils, commonly called Glucosinolates, such as Glucotropaeolin aka BenzylGlucosinolate, which all release toxic hydrogen cyanide when digested. The degradation product of BenzylGlucosinolate, BenzylIsoThiocyanate, is the biologically active moiety. Nasturtiums were so named because of the similarity of these glucosinolates to those in Water-cress (Nasturtium officinale).

The coloured flavonoids IsoQuercetin and Kaempferol are also found.


  Tropaeolum majus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Tropaeolaceae  

Distribution
 family8Nasturtium family8Tropaeolaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Tropaeolum
Tropaeolum
(Nasturtiums)

NASTURTIUM

GARDEN NASTURTIUM

Tropaeolum majus

Nasturtium Family [Tropaeolaceae]