Dwarf Nasturtium (Tropaeolum minus)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Dwarf Nasturtium
Tropaeolum minus
Tropaeolaceae

The growing plant attracts aphids away from other plants. Research indicates that aphids flying over plants with orange or yellow flowers do not stop, nor do they prey on plants growing next to or above the flowers[201].

An insecticide can be made from an infusion of leaves and soap flakes[201].

  • Medicinal Use

    The whole plant is antibiotic, antiseptic, aperient, diuretic and expectorant[7, 21]. It is useful in breaking up congestion in the respiratory passages and chest during colds[21]. The juice or tea can be used as an external or internal antiseptic[21]. The plant has antibiotic properties towards aerobic spore forming bacteria[61], it is also said to have a beneficial effect on the blood by promoting the formation of blood cells[21].

  • Edible Use

    Leaves – raw[2, 27, 37]. A hot watercress flavour[183]. The leaves are very nice in small quantities on their own or as a flavouring in mixed salads, they are available from early summer until the first frosts of the autumn[K].

    Flowers – raw[2, 27, 37, 183]. A very ornamental and tasty addition to the salad bowl, the flowers have a hot watercress flavour[7]. The flowers contain about 130mg vitamin C per 100g[218].

    Young seed pods – raw[2, 27, 37]. These are even hotter than the flowers or leaves[K]. The seed pods can also be harvested whilst immature and pickled for use as a caper substitute[183].

    Seed – raw or cooked. Very hot[K]. The mature seed can be ground into a powder and used as a pepper substitute[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow April in situ. The seed usually germinates within 2 weeks. Seed can also be sown in March in pots in a greenhouse and planted out in late spring or early summer.
Prefers a rich light well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade[37]. More and lusher leaves are produced when the plant is growing in a rich soil, though less flowers are produced[238]. When grown in a soil of low fertility the leaves are smaller and less lush, though more flowers are produced[200, K] The plant will also succeed in very poor soils[202]. Dislikes drought[37]. This species is not frost hardy in Britain but it is often grown in the flower garden as an annual when it will frequently self-sow[37]. In cold springs, however, the seed will often not germinate until mid or even late summer, which is too late to produce a reasonable crop[K]. There are some named varieties[183]. Grows well with radishes, cabbages and fruit trees, improving their growth and flavour[14, 20]. A good companion for many plants, keeping many harmful insects at bay and also improving the growth and flavour of neighbouring crops[201]. Aphids on nasturtiums indicate a lime deficiency in the soil[20]. Slugs and snails love eating this plant, so it can be grown to attract them away from other plants[201]. The caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly can be a nuisance and often cause considerable damage to the leaves[219].
S. America – Peru, Ecuador.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.