Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zone
Zones vary by species.
Regular Water
Moderate

Tropaeolum

Nasturtium
Tropaeolaceae
Annuals, Perennials

Old-fashioned favorites from South America. Distinctive appearance, rapid growth, and easy culture are three of their many strong points.

Tropaeolum majus
Tropaeolum majus

Click to Enlarge

Tropaeolum majus

There are two main kinds of this annual plant: climbing types, which trail over the ground or climb to 6 ft. by coiling leafstalks; and compact, bushy, dwarf kinds to 1 1/2 ft. tall and wide (dwarf types are more widely sold). Both have round bright green leaves on long stalks. Long-spurred flowers to 2 1/2 in. across have a refreshing fragrance and come in colors including maroon, red brown, orange, yellow, red, and creamy white. You can get seeds of mixed colors in several strains; some single colors are also sold. Both single- and double- flowered forms are available. All varieties make good cut flowers. Young leaves, flowers, and unripe seedpods have a peppery flavor and are frequently used in salads.

Easy to grow in most well-drained soils but does best in sandy soil. Sow in early spring; plant grows and blooms quickly, reseeds. In mild-winter, hot-summer areas, sow in fall for winter and spring bloom. Use climbing types to cover fences, banks, stumps, or rocks; use dwarf kinds for bedding, to hide fading bulb foliage, or for quick color. Somewhat drought-tolerant. Full sun or light shade.

You Might Also Like...

Teucrium fruticans

Loose, silvery stemmed plant to 4–8 ft. tall and wide (or wider). Gray-green, 1 1/4-in.-long lea...

Euphorbia palustris

From Europe and western Asia. Forms a robust clump to 3 ft. tall and wide, with many medium green, 2&n...

Omphalodes

These resemble forget-me-nots (Myosotis) but typically have deeper blue, somewhat larger (1/2...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement