September 27th – Tropaeolum majus

Tropaeolum majus

I believe this flower is a brightly coloured Tropaeolum majus.

With origins in Bolivia in South America, all parts of this flower are edible. The most common parts used are the petal, with it’s peppery taste and as an ornamental addition to salads.

They are also said to be magical when viewed at dusk, with small specks of light appearing to escape from the luminous plant. In truth the explanation given is an optical illusion created by contrast between the yellow/orange, and the broad green leaves that accompany it.

But it appears I have the kids trained well. En route to the park for some pre Grand Final footy with my son, he stopped and pointed to the flower, suggesting I take some photo’s.

But aside from its culinary uses, the Tropaeolum magus (and other nasturtium) is considered a useful companion plant, repelling common pests squash bugs, cucumber beetles and many types of caterpillar.

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