views updated May 14 2018

Tropaeolum (family Tropaeolaceae) A genus of dicotyledonous (see DICOTYLEDON) herbs, often succulent. Many species climb by means of twining leaf stalks. The leaves may be entire or palmately lobed, with long stalks. The flowers are showy, with 5 irregular petals, and 5 sepals forming a spur below. T. majus is the nasturtium, a common garden ornamental from S. America, once cultivated as a salad plant. There are 86 species, occurring from Mexico to Patagonia.


views updated May 29 2018

tropaeolum S. Amer. genus of herbs. XVIII. — modL., f. L. tropæum TROPHY; so called from the resemblance of the leaf to a shield and of the flower to a helmet.