Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, October 27, 2014

And In Other Late-Breaking News...

Tropaeolum tuberosum is finally blooming.

It's not a lot of flowers, and they're very delicate, but I'll take what I can get.

Tropaeolum tuberosum blooms intertwined with the already-stripped-by-birds, purple-stemmed drupe of 'Black Beauty' elderberry.

It's not a profuse bloomer, at least not yet, but I'll take it. This is only its second year in the ground, so I have high hopes that next year this vining Nasturtium relative will be even more heavily covered. It's possible it's not getting quite enough sun where it's planted, but I'm not going to move it. Who knows how it will do next year, and I don't want to set it back. In fact, I dug the tubers up this spring, thinking they were dead, but noticed growth on them, so hastily put them back. This plant is not just a late bloomer (it's nearly November), but also a late riser.

If memory serves I think I bought this from Far Reaches Farm, either at one of the spring sales that they attend, or on one of my trips to Port Townsend. Here's what Far Reaches has to say about it:

"Mashua - Hardy Tuberous Nasturtium. One of the great cultivated food crops of the Andean slopes in South America. This is the Andean equivalent of what the potato is to the Irish. Forms large tubers which are used as you would spuds. Pretty and tasty tubular orange flowers in late Fall on vining herbaceous stems to 8'-10' tall. We frost early here at the nursery so we don't often see the flowers but everyone in Seattle blooms the heck out of them. Perfect crossover perennial being both edible and ornamental."

  • Family: Tropaeolaceae
  • Hardiness: To Zone 7b
  • Mature Size: 8' - 10'
  • Exposure: Sun to Half Sun
  • Bloom Time: October - November
  • Moisture Needs: Average Moisture
  • Deer Resistant: No
  • Origin: Andes, South America

Worth waiting for, don't you agree?