Nas­tur­tium Tropae­olum ma­jus

NZ Lifestyle Block - - DIY FOOD -

THESE brightly-coloured an­nu­als have a long his­tory of use in sal­ads as leaves, flow­ers and seeds. The young leaves have a pep­pery, wa­ter­cress-like flavour which can dom­i­nate, but the milder tast­ing flow­ers can be used in abun­dance. Va­ri­eties can be bushy or trail­ing, with beau­ti­ful colours from cream to or­ange to ma­hogany red. There is even a var­ie­gated-leafed va­ri­ety (Alaska), and a red-leaved va­ri­ety (Em­press of In­dia). The flow­ers are quite large for us­ing whole, but in­di­vid­ual petals are de­light­ful.

Nas­tur­tiums do best in poorer, well-drained soils in full sun. Too much fer­til­ity and the leaves out­grow the flow­ers. Sow af­ter all dan­ger of frost has passed or in­side in pots for trans­plant­ing.

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