Scientific Name:
Tropaeolum majus L., Sp. Pl. 345 (1753)
Vernacular Name(s):
Garden nasturtium; Indian cress; Nasturtium

Glabrous aromatic annual or short-lived perennial with long trailing or scrambling, succulent stems, sometimes climbing to 2 m high. Lvs simple, peltate. Petioles to c. 30 cm long, usually not coiling. Lamina to c. 18–(21) cm diam., suborbicular, often slightly asymmetric, entire but often sinuate, glaucescent beneath. Fls usually solitary, sometimes in clusters of 2–3; pedicels resembling petioles in length and form. Calyx somewhat irregular, pale orange; sepals 1.5–2.2 cm long, narrow-ovate to narrowly ovate-oblong, the dorsal and 2 lateral sepals larger; spur 2.5–3.3 cm long, ± curved, tapering, usually pale orange. Corolla moderately irregular, (2)–3–4 × (1.7)–2.2–3.3 cm, usually yellow or orange to scarlet, sometimes semi-double with 7–8 petals; lower 3 petals with very slender claw and broad-ovate to almost reniform limb, the limb fimbriate at base and ± sinuate or undulate; upper 2 petals with claw broader and adnate to calyx at base, often with crimson markings on claw and lower limb. Supernumary petals usually 0, but if present, similar to lower 3 but smaller. Stamens yellow to reddish, the same colour as corolla. Frs dry; carpels with 2 flattened faces and the third or dorsal side rounded and obtusely ribbed, remaining green until abscission, usually 1–2 remaining small; fertile carpels 1–1.4 cm long.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: (Jan.)–Oct.–May–(Dec.)

Biosecurity New Zealand 2012: Regional Pest Management Strategies Database.
Hobbs, J.; Hatch, T. 1994: Bulbs for New Zealand Gardens. Godwit Press, Auckland.
Howell, C. 2008: Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research & Development Series 292: 42.
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.