Common nasturtiums seem to grow anywhere and everywhere, from high alpine regions to salty mediterranean climates.
Nasturtium can refer to watercress, or to the garden variety – the shared name refers to their peppery leaves, and the result eating them has on one’s expression.
The name nasturtium comes from the Latin, nasus tortus, meaning ‘twisted nose’ or ‘nose tweaker’.
While starving at boarding school in the 1950/60s my mother often ate nasturtium leaves – a practice that stuck – later in life she would sometimes pick several from the garden and eat them with fresh bread and butter: “peppery, delicious” she would say.
(Image: Nasturtium (tropaeolum) at Vals, Switzerland. Chris Reddaway)