Peach Melba Nasturtiums

naejakire(Oregon 8b)March 12, 2013

Figured this was a good place to ask this, if not let me know since I am a newbie (:

I love nasturtiums and as was buying seeds this year I was reminded of something I noticed last winter but have never come across the answer for. That is, why is there conflicting information for the Peach Melba nasturtium?

On Burpee's website the Peach Melba is a "bright creamy" blossom with "maroon blotches near the center" (

However, what seems to be the same variety of nasturtium is referred to as Ladybird through both Select Seeds ( and Sunrise Seeds (

At Renee's Garden, practically the same nasturtium is sold as Vanilla Berry, an "improved selection" of Peach Melba, which has "soft vanilla with strawberry etched throats" (

These were just a few examples. So could Ladybird be an improved selection of Peach Melba as well?

Also, as if I wasn't already wondering enough, Ed Hume Seeds sells a Peach Melba that seems entirely different ( What is that about? Can they really name it Peach Melba when there is already a Peach Melba? Or which came first? Is this the true Peach Melba??

Dun dun dun.

Excuse my ramblings! I did do a Google search and a search on Garden Web, but neither resulted in anything incredibly helpful.

What are your thoughts? Thanks!

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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I grew PM a couple years ago. Thought the color was gag-ful in any regard, lol. There is just something about very pale apricot/buff that I dislike. Can't remember if the "blotches" were more in the red tones or orange though....think the latter.

My answer isn't likly to be very helpful I fear, lol. Just guesses really.

It's might be some ploy of the seed co. If you rename the same plant (or offspring of it, even if it looks and acts much like the parent plant) people will think it is different and want to buy it. :-P

It looks like PM is an heirloom and will come true from saved seed. There isn't going to be a patent on it, so seed co. can get away with renaming it anything they please.

Another reason a cultivar might have two cultvar names is because one is a registration name (what the hybridizer called it) and what the commercial name is (what is on the tag). But that is usually seen with hybrids. Sometimes heirlooms with have two names because it is a "pass-along" kind of plant. Someone forgot the name over the years and started calling it by a different one, while another person remembered the original one and kept growing and passing it along as that.

They very well might have made made "improvements", since sometimes heirlooms do not always stand up to the expectations of modern gardeners. Improvements could be anything from breeding for more vigor/blooms/less disese/compactness, or simply them selecting a second generation (or 3, or 4th, etc) plant that looks more robust! Who knows. Haven't grown any for comparison, so I don't know.

If you are really that interested you may find information looking up registration/patent information on the non-heirloom look alikes (guessing they are hybrid, I didn't find any info one way or the other). Then you might see if they had PM in its family tree. I did a quick and not-very-thorough look on freepatensonline and didn't see any info.

Honestly though, if a plant looks too similar for comparison I just pick up whatever is cheapest or available locally and don't worry much about it ;-)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 2:19PM
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I think these are "Peach Melba" nasturtiums in my garden of Sept. 2009. I was disappointed they turned out more of a pale yellow with red instead of pale orange (my idea of peach). Sorry I can't tell you where I bought the seed, but I do recall buying "Vanilla Berry" from Renee's one time. Perhaps I'm confused and the photo is of the Vanilla Berry. I know for sure I've planted both varieties. ugh, this hasn't helped you at all has it?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:20PM
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naejakire(Oregon 8b)

@christinmk I may attempt to find out through the patents, out of curiosity. (: I didn't think of that at all. Oddly, Burpee is the only one out of the above companies that claim that their Peach Melba/Ladybird is an heirloom. Thanks!

@schoolhouse What a beautiful walkway! Even though they may be pictured with orange blotches in some paces they are described as having blotches colored maroon,raspberry, etc. So confusing! This photo of Vanilla Berry from Renee's ( pictures blotches that are more orange than "deep strawberry", which makes it look a lot like the Peach Melba/Ladybirds than the Renee's description of Vanilla Berry... So really you could have a photo of either one?

I have purchased Select Seed's Ladybird, Burpee's Peach Melba and Ed Hume's Peach Melba. I'll plant each in it's own area and compare. I'm starting to sound obsessive, huh? (:

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:17PM
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naejakire(Oregon 8b)

When will it end? haha Perhaps you are very right, christinmk. Strawberries and Lemonade from Annie's:

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:23PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

LOL!!! Don't feel too bad- I've had my "lets buy one of each even though they look nearly identical for the sake of comparison" phases too. Then after awhile (when space became more and more limited) I went the opposite direction, buying plants of the same genus/family that were unique and didn't look like each other.

But I get it- sometimes you just gotta' know something! ;-] Good luck with your experiment if you still go thru with it...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 2:27PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I love Creamsicle and Apricot Trifle nasturtiums. Those peachy colors slay me. Creamsicle has a maroon center.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 1:01AM
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I don't know if it's legal, but I know an heirloom tomato plant grower that simply gave a new name to an existing variety and it is selling like hotcakes! It's probably the same situation in the nasturtium seed world.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 6:33AM
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naejakire, I'd be interested in an update on what you uncovered in your experiment. I am getting ready to purchase some peach-colored heirloom nasturtium seeds.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2014 at 6:25PM
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I guess I'm just old school and rarely pay attention to names of flowers. Where I come from a nasturtium is a nasturtium. Getting down in the weeds on something like this seems pointless to me. Especially knowing that plant marketers can call them anything they want to regardless of the lineage of the flower. is it pretty? do you like it? Save the seeds so you don't have to buy them again. Seed prices have gotten so high in the past couple years and packets often have no more than 12 seeds in them. Grrrr! Okay that's all I'm gonna whine about today.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 5:59PM
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