Tuesday, October 5, 2010
This time of the year the cool weather seems to suit the Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) very well, they seem to improve as the fall progresses while other plants seem to decline in response to the cold nights and shorter days . It's sad really as this vigorous, late lease on life can only come to a sad end, a few degrees of frost and the Nasturtiums are reduced to a messy pulp.
Linnaeus took the name tropaeolum from the Greek tropaion (trophy), which originally refered to the tree on which were fixed the shields and helmets of the defeated. Seeing the plant growing on a post he thought that the leaves looked like shields and the flowers like helmets.
I'm borrowing the title from Nigel Slater, and in fact the subject of this post is edible. All parts of the Nasturtium can be eaten and it makes the most interesting pesto.