Nasturtium, high in vitamin C and Iron and a good umbrella.



Nasturtium, which originated from the cooler Andean regions of Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, are nutritious, contain antioxidants and have many traditional medicinal uses. The plant was introduced to Europe in the 16th century where it was known as Indian cress. Nasturtium plants were not valued as food until they were taken to the orient where the petals and buds were eaten and used to make tea. There are about one hundred varieties of nasturtium.


The flowers are brightly coloured either yellow, orange, red or white with a slight spicy flavour with a mustard-like aroma. They can be added to salads. The buds or seeds can be pickled and used as an alternative to capers. The leaves and petals of nasturtium are high in vitamin C and iron. The orange and red flowers are high in antioxidants. The leaves also have antibiotic properties which are at their most effective just before the plant flowers.


The leaf of the nasturtium has inspired nano-technologists to devise materials that shed water. The structure of the nasturtium leaf, like the morpho butterfly and lotus leaf, causes droplets of water bounce off their surface. By applying the same natural patterns to metals, fabrics and ceramics, a new generation of moisture-resistant products from tents to wind turbines can be made.

The video left shows a water drop falling on anodized aluminium (top left) and nano-textured copper (top right) and the natural surfaces of a nasturtium leaf (bottom right), the wing of a Morpho butterfly (bottom left) and a lotus leaf (middle). More about nano and natural waterproof surfaces from the BBC.


Magnoliophyta: Magnoliopsida: Rosidae: Geraniales: Tropaeolaceae: Tropaeolum: Tropaeolum majus