Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) are extremely easy to grow in our local climate from seed! They can quickly cover a large area and both the leaves and flowers are entirely edible as long as no animals or university students have used your flower bed for a bathroom (If you pluck the flower out and lick the pointy base you might find it to be plesantly sweet, and the entire flower has a slightly peppery taste.). Generally, nasturtiums form a trailing vine of bright round leaves and flowers in shades ranging from yellow to crimson; the vine will easily reach 8"-12" in height unless supported, and tend to tumble over and through fences, out planter boxes, and onto sidewalks. The hardy nasturtium prefers a nutrient-poor soil, and can handle partial shade or full sun in Davis. These annuals typically bloom sometime in late spring, with blooms lasting well into fall; once you have an established plant, you'll find that it self-seeds easily and will produce many more plants the following year. In addition to making a beautiful garnish, nasturtiums are an attractive and nutritious addition to salads, with ten times the vitamin C of lettuce; the seeds can be ground in a pepper mill and used just like black pepper.
For a list of other plants that can be found growing in Davis, please visit our Town Flora page.