Canary Nasturtium Flowers
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Canary Nasturtium is a climbing vine that grows to 2.5 meters high, sprawling over structures and other vegetation. Its leaves are 5 cm across and deeply lobed with rounded tips, like the shape of an open hand. The decorative flowers are bright yellow and feathery resembling a canary in flight. They have minimal aroma, but are pleasantly sharp on the palate, with flavors of radish, mustard, arugula and watercress.
Canary Nasturtium flowers are available in the spring and summer.
Canary Nasturtium is commonly known as Canary Creeper or Canary Bird Flower and botanically as Tropaeolum peregrinum. Like all nasturtium in the Tropaeolaceae family, the Canary variety is entirely edible and shares the characteristic peppery note in it flowers, leaves and fruits. Nasturtium translates to “nose twister” in Latin, referring to the plant’s pungent flavor. It is the same name for the genus in which watercress belongs, another herbaceous plant known for its spicy quality.
Canary Nasturtium flowers are best when picked young and should be kept cool to avoid wilting. They are best in savory applications and may be used like common nasturtium to add spice and color to dishes. They echo peppery lettuces like arugula, watercress, mizuna, radicchio, and mustard greens. Their sharp bite cuts through creamy dairy flavors and adds balance to rich dishes. When added to butter, the peppery spread is excellent on sandwiches for an alternative to mustard. Steep the flowers in vinegar to make a spicy salad dressing with a golden hue. Canary Nasturtium flowers compliment seafood (especially crab), cream cheese, sour cream, butter, hard cheeses, chive, parsley, tarragon, potato, ham and salmon.
Canary Nasturtium is native to western parts of South America in Ecuador and Peru. It dies back in the winter with prolonged exposure to temperatures below 30 degrees F. Canary Nasturtium requires full sun to partial shade and should not be over watered in order to encourage optimal blossom production.
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