Trapaeolum majus ‘Alaska’

10 Jul


I grow these periodically, both because I like how easy they are to plant, and because I like the flowers. What’s not to like? White speckled leaves, bright flowers, both of which can add a peppery flavor to salads, easy to plant from large seeds even kids can handle easily, and it attracts the odd Cabbage White Butterfly to lay her eggs on, and even the occassional hummingbird checking out the flowers.

I really need to start collecting seeds of my favorite forms though. Most come up in shades of yellow and orange flowers. One this year is a nice salmon pink orange, and a few have nice contrasting darker nectar guides, which I always find appealing on these.

The problem is simply remembering to collect them, and how to store the big, chick pea sized seeds. Maybe a small mason jar? They should come true to leaf type if not flower color, and I don’t grow any other annual nasturtiums, so there isn’t anything to hybridize with.

Unless of course, the fall blooming Nasturtium tuberosum I bought decides to do well and flower. It is a tuberous species, edible tubers actually, though Beth and I weren’t particularly impressed with the taste of them. It’s leaves are also edible, and rather peppery. Not my favorite, but edible. We will see if they decide to flower, or if the tubers prove hardy here in the PNW. Maybe in a pot, under cover in the garage over winter? We will see.

But the Alaska nasturtiums are easy annuals I really should grow more. I e got them in the long box with the white Salvia coccinea ‘Snow Nymph’, some deep purple annual allysum, and the old cottage flower Lychnis coronaria. The orange and yellow flowers are little odd with the magenta catchfly, but it’s still a nice combination of bright cheerful flowers.


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