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Narcissus pseudo-narcissus > DAFFODIL NARD

see SPIKENARD

Nardostachys jatamansi > SPIKENARD Narthecium ossifragum > BOG ASPHODEL NASTURTIUM

(Tropaeolum majus) A South American plant, brought from Peru to France in 1684, and called La Grande Capuchine. Surprisingly, it is listed as the symbol of patriotism (Leyel. 1937). Tropaeolum, the botanical name, means a trophy; it was the shield-like leaves and helmet shaped flowers that suggested the name. Old gardeners claim that growing nasturtiums up the trunks of fruit trees will get rid of aphis on the latter, and planting them in the greenhouse also guards against woolly aphis (Boland & Boland). If you want them to grow fast, plant them on St Patrick's Day (Thomas & Thomas).

Nasturtium leaves are antiseptic, and have been recommended in cases of scurvy (Thornton). Eating the flower petals is an oriental custom, but in Europe they are often added to salads and sandwiches these days (and so are the leaves). Evelyn reckoned that that mustard made from the finely ground nasturtium seeds had the best flavour of all. The flower buds and fruits, or "nuts", as they are sometimes called, are often pickled in vinegar and used like capers (Hemphill). Nasturtium is sometimes used in folk medicine as a stimulant in cases of scrofula, and it is also given for influenza (Schauenberg & Paris). The name nasturtium comes from Latin nasus torsus, twisted nose, a reference to the peppery taste of the edible parts (Painter & Power), hence local names like Nose-smart, and Nose-tickler, both from Somerset, and Nose-twitcher, from Dorset (Macmillan).

Nasturtium officinale > WATERCRESS

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