Tropaeolum majus (garden nasturtium, Indian cress or monks cress) is a flowering plant in thefamily Tropaeolaceae, originating in the Andes from Bolivia north to Colombia.
Nasturtiums are considered widely useful companion plants. They repel a great many cucurbit pests, like squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and several caterpillars. They have a similar range of benefits for brassica plants, especially broccoli and cauliflower. They also serve as a trap crop against black fly aphids. They also attract beneficial predatory insects.
All its parts are edible. The flower has most often been consumed, making for an especially ornamental salad ingredient; it has a slightly peppery taste reminiscent of watercress, and is also used in stir fry. The flowers contain about 130 mg vitamin C per 100 grams (3.5 oz),about the same amount as is contained in parsley. Moreover, they contain up to 45 mg of lutein per 100 gr, which is the highest amount found in any edible plant. The unripe seed pods can be harvested and dropped into spiced vinegar to produce a condiment and garnish, sometimes used in place of capers.Nasturtiums are also a favorite treat of chickens (along with garlic chives, clover, chickweed and turnips)
I always suggest people growing these self-seeding flowers. I used them in everything; marinades, salads, casseroles, side dishes. I like to wrap meat in them and put them on the grill. I chop up a few leaves and flowers and add it to my tabouli. The kids really like that.