Any of various annual plants of the genus Tropaeolum (family Tropaeolaceae), native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America, and cultivated elsewhere as garden plants. Brilliant yellow, orange, or red flowers are funnel-shaped and have a long spur that contains sweet nectar. The peppery-tasting leaves and flowers are sometimes used in salads, and the young flower buds and fruit are sometimes used as seasoning. Nasturtium also is a genus of aquatic herbs in the mustard family (see watercress).
Common nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus).—Derek Fell
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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