Nasturtium Throughout History

Sixteenth Century

Nasturtium is discovered in Peru

1638 - 1715                                           

 King Louis XIV reign in France lead to some very hard times for the people. Many people turned to using nasturtium as a source of food and spices. This hardy plant was easy to grow and easily accessible to people who were in need of food.


Nasturtium is found in the wild for the first time at Yale University. The flower that was discovered was the Rorripa nasturium-aquaticum


During the Victorian Era scurvy was ramped throughout Europe. The people once again turned to nasturtium, this time for its high levels of vitamin C and antibacterial properties.


In 1841, the plant was discovered in the wild in the United States. The first place it was discovered was in Niagara, New York.


Shortly after the discovery in New York, the flower won the title of a "rare escape of cultivation." In short, nasturtium, a non-native plant began reproducing at a rapid rate and became fully cultivated throughout the United States.


1872 - 1874

During this period, nasturtium's medicinal and culinary properties take a back seat and it is now known for its beauty. The famous artist Monet spent these years doing many paintings with nasturtiums in many of the backgrounds. Monet's very own garden contained multiple species of nasturtium. This time period was known as the "impressionists exhibition."

Late 1800's Early 1900's

The nasturtium finally reaches the west coast and is found growing in the wild.


Nasturtium once again shows up in the art world. Painter Henri Matisse, paints a master piece titled "Dance," that features nasturtium.

1930 - 1945

Nasturtium also played a minor role in World War II. The seeds were ground up and used as a pepper substitute because actual pepper was imported and hard to come by in this time period.


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