Plants herbaceous, smooth, climbing or twining, with a pungent, watery juice. Lvs. peltate or palmate. Fls. irregular, axillary, perfect. Sepals 3 to 5, colored.
united, the upper one spurred. Petals 1 - 5, the three lower ones stalked, the 2 upper inserted on the calyx. Stamens 6 to 10, distinct, unequal, perigynous.
Ovary 3-carpeled; style 1; stigmas 3. Fruit separating into 3 indehiscent, 1-seeded nuts. Sds. large. Albumen 0.
Genera 4, species 40, natives of S. America. They possess the same antiscorbutic properties as the Cruciferae. The fruit of the following species is pickled and used as a substitute for capers.
TROPAEOLUM, L. Indian Cress. (Lat. tropoeum, a trophy; the leaf resembles a shield, the flower an empty helmet.) Character essentially the same as of the order.
1 T. majus L. Nasturtion. Lvs. peltate, roundish, repandon the margin, with the long petiole inserted a little one side of the center; pet. obtuse, the 2 upper distant from the 3 lower, which are fimbriate at base, and contracted into long claws.- Native of Peru. St. at length climbing by means of its long petioles several feet. Lvs. a fine example of the peltate form, about 2' diam. Fls. large and showy, orange-colored, with blotches of deeper shade. They are eaten for salad. Jn. - Oct.
2 T. aduncum Smith. Canary Creeper. Capuchine. St. trailing or climbing; lvs. peltate, palmately 5-tobed, lobes dentate; petals laciniaie, the two upper much larger; sep. entire, acute. - Admired for its grotesque, orange-colored flowers. Climbing by its prehensive petioles like T. majus. When full grown it will thrive upon air alone, † From Peru.