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TROPAEOLUM

Image of Tropaeolum

Felder Rushing

Family

Tropaeolaceae

Botanical Name

TROPAEOLUM

Plant Common Name

Nasturtium

General Description

Tropaeolum is a genus of approximately 80 species and hundreds of popular hybrid cultivars. All originate from South and Central America as well as Mexico, and most are perennial, vining and may be evergreen or herbaceous.

Commonly called nasturtiums, many Tropaeolum are garden favorites grown for their profusion of showy, open, five-petaled flowers with large, nectar-rich spurs. They commonly come in shades of yellow, orange or red, but some cultivars offer shades of apricot, rose and pink. Foliage is species dependent, but the most common cultivated species, Tropaeolum majus has distinct parasol-shaped, or peltate, leaves.

There are also Tropaeolum that are grown for food. A native of the Andes, Tropaeolum tuberosum, has edible tubers that are highly valued by the native people living there. In addition, the pretty peppery-tasting flowers of Tropaeolum majus are enjoyed in salads.

Nasturtiums prefer cooler temperatures and are commonly grown as tender perennials. Overall, they grow best if given bright light—direct where summers are cool and indirect where hot—rich fertile soil and regular water. Almost all garden cultivated nasturtiums are grown from seed. The long-blooming plants adapt readily to containers and make good partners with other colorful bedding plants.

Characteristics

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Red, Orange, Pink, Rose, Peach

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No