Nasturtium, an annual plant with soft stems, round leaves, and spurred, five-petaled flowers. The flowers usually are orange or yellow, but may be almost any color. The leaves have a peppery taste, and sometimes are used in salads. The flower buds and unripe seeds are pungent, and are used in pickling.
The nasturtium is native to the Andes. Hybrids cultivated in the United States include climbing varieties 6 to 12 feet (1.8 to 3.6 m) tall and dwarf, bushy varieties 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) tall. Nasturtiums are grown from seed in poor soil. (Grown in rich soil, they produce much foliage and few flowers.) Climbing varieties need wire or trellis supports. Nasturtiums bloom from June until the first frost in the fall.
The climbing nasturtium is Tropaeolum majus; dwarf, T. minus. Both belong to the nasturtium family, Tropaeolaceae.