Low nasturtium "Princess of India" - Tropaeolum nanum.
Contrast of bright colors and dark foliage!
Variety with a scarlet flower and dark green leaves with a reddish tint. A low plant up to 20 cm in height. It blooms profusely from June to October. Used for curbs, ridges, slope shelters, balcony boxes.
The plant prefers sunny or slightly shaded places, moderately fertile and moist soils. Seeds are sown in May directly in open ground, in holes of three seeds. The seeding depth is 2 cm. At a soil temperature of + 15 ° C, seedlings appear on the 14-20th day. The distance between plants is 20-30 cm.
Location: thermophilic and photophilous.
Soil: Prefers moderately fertile and moist soils.
Care: with an excess of fertilizers, especially organic ones, the plants form large dark green leaves to the detriment of flowering. And with a lack of light, the stems stretch out, and the leaves become small, which significantly impairs the decorative effect. Before flowering, regular watering is required, but after flowering begins, water is only watered when the soil dries up. Top dressing (mainly potash-phosphorus fertilizers) is also carried out before flowering. If all these conditions are met, nasturtium will bloom from June until frost.
Reproduction: by seeds, which can be sown directly into the ground in mid-May, in holes of three seeds, keeping the distance between holes 25-30 cm, but for earlier flowering, seedlings can be grown. Sow in early May in 9 cm pots of 3 pieces. Seedlings appear in two weeks. Planting in the ground is carried out only with an earthen clod at the beginning of June. And cuttings that root perfectly in water and wet sand. This technique is used when breeding new, and especially terry varieties. Since nasturtium is a perennial plant, you can leave the most outstanding specimens to winter in a pot on a bright cool window with limited watering, and cut them in the spring. Under favorable conditions, nasturtium sets many seeds, which, crumbling, are able to overwinter in the soil.
Usage: undersized species and varieties of nasturtiums are suitable for vases, borders, flower beds in the form of wide ribbons; species and varieties with long shoots are used as ampelous plants, for vertical gardening, and as ground cover.
In common garden nasturtiums, all parts of the plant are edible except for the roots. Fresh young leaves and stems rich in vitamin C add some piquancy to salads and sandwiches, extracts from flowers are added to cheeses and butter, vinegar is infused on nasturtium flowers, they are stuffed with various fillings, and also used as an edible decoration in salads, soups and drinks.
Finally, dried, peeled and ground seeds have a spicy peppery flavor and are used as a condiment to a wide variety of dishes (it is said that in many countries, ground nasturtium seeds were quite actively used instead of black pepper during the Second World War).
Nasturtium is used not only as an ornamental and edible plant, but also as a medicinal plant. It treats vitamin deficiency, anemia, skin rashes, kidney stones, bronchitis and other diseases, it promotes hair growth. Nasturtium has proven itself especially well as an antiscorbutic agent. The amount of vitamin C in it reaches 500 mg% or more (ten times higher than in ordinary lettuce leaves!).
Jane Webb Loudon.
Nasturtium. Suom.: Koristekrassi, intiankrassi. Sven.: Krasse.