Note: Do not rely on this information. It is very old.
NasturtiumNasturtium (said to be derived from nasi tortio, "twisting of the nose," referring to their pungency) is the classical name for cress (q.v.), applied by Linnaaus to the genus of Cruciferas (q.v.), of which the water-cress (q.v.) (N officinale) is the best known. In the 16th century, when properties were more considered in the classification of plants than structure, the species of the widely different, but pungent, genus Tropceolum, on their introduction from America, were termed "Indian cresses" or Nasturtium indicum, and have ever since retained the name Nasturtium.