Tropaeolum minus (60 days) Named for the dessert—peaches with raspberry sauce—that Escoffier created to honor 19th-century operatic soprano Nellie Melba. Recommended by Eva Sommaripa and other growers who treasure its unique delicacy. Primrose-cream edible blossoms with pearly red centers look like miniature cut peaches with dollops of sauce. Sets its abundant blooms above the compact edible lily-pad foliage. Seed is expensive but worth it. Annual. ②
5293 Peach Melba
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Annual. The name literally means ‘twisted nose,’ from the Latin nasus for nose and tortus for twist. Edible flowers with a spicy sweet fragrance lend a peppery-sweet taste to salads, with each color adding contrast and subtle variations in flavor. Round leaves also edible, and seeds can be pickled to make “capers.” Formerly used as a remedy against scurvy.
Culture: Blooms keep coming if cut, needs moisture and cool temperatures for optimal blooming. Intolerant of frost. Germinates in 7–10 days at 65°. Cover the seed. Avoid excess nitrogen, but don’t relegate nasties to the worst soil. Likes full sun. Start indoors or direct seed after last frost.
All flowers are open-pollinated except where noted.
Days in parentheses after a variety indicate days to first bloom.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.