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HERBS A - LA

HERBS LE - P

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Image Soon Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum)
Image Soon Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon Balm has been recorded through history as a medicinal and fragrant herb. Also recorded to be one of the favorites through the developement of the United States. Thomas Jefferson grew it in his personal garden.

  • Culinary: Whole fresh leaves may be added to a garden or fruit salad for the taste of lemon, and a hint of mint. Dried leaves are used for tea. Goes great with most vegetables, and adds flavor to meat and poultry dishes.
  • Medicinal: The scent of this herb alone, may bring out the cheerfulness of anyone. The oil attacks bacteria and viruses and helps expel them from the body. Also used to treat wounds and bruises. Also used in the past as a form of valium.
  • Aromatic: The leaves smell of lemons with a hint of mint. May be added to potpourri.
  • Full Sun to partial shade.
  • 18-20 inches in height.
  • Leaves strongest flavor is in May. Just before the flower blooms.
  • Perennial.
  • Well-Drained soil.
Image Soon Lemon Balm, Variegated (Melissa oficinallis 'Variegata')

This variety of Lemon Balm lies right between the two previously mentioned. One was green, and the other was gold. This eye catching variety is a little of both. Splashes of gold riddle the plant for an eye pleasing treat.

  • Culinary: With an obvious taste and smell of lemon, it hides a scent of mint within. It may be added with mints to create a great tasting tea. The leaves are best if used fresh in cooking. You can throw them in to fresh salads, stuffing, and marinades for the strong lemon flavor.
  • Medicinal: Fresh leaves can cover insect bites and stings for a mild relief. Tea will give relief to colds, headaches, and tension.
  • Aromatic: Foliage is used in potpourris, and in herb pillows. A brush up against a leaf, or a simple rub between your fingers will send the aromatic lemon scent into the air.
  • Ornamental: Variegated highlights to a garden is always pleasing. Especially with the scent it emits.
  • Full Sun to part shade.
  • 12-18 inches in height.
  • If foliage begins to blotch, move into deeper shade.
  • Perennial
  • Moist Soil
Image Soon Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Lovage Lovage (Levisticum officinale)

All parts of the plant are useful in the kitchen, making it a worthwhile plant to keep. This herb was once used by witches in their love potions.Lovage looks and smells a lot like overgrown celery. It has bright green, hand shaped leaves and thickly ridged hollow stems. The flowers, which bloom in mid- to late summer, are small, yellow, and formed in umbrella-like clusters. The seeds are flat, oval, and deeply ridged.

  • Culinary: Seeds are added to liquors, breads, and pastries. Also sprinkled on your favorite foods for a celery taste. Leaves can be freshly tossed into salads, and also used in soups, stews, and sauces. Lovage goes great with a majority of foods, including fresh stalks, like celery sticks.
  • Medicinal: Europeans use it today as a mild cure to minor stomach and headaches. Lovage leaves and roots are said to be a good cure to some skin and eye problems. Fresh juice from the plant is also a once used cure for pink eye. A tea from the root was used as a diuretic.
  • Full Sun to part shade.
  • 5-7 feet in height.
  • Wait two years before harvesting the roots or stems.
  • Perennial.
  • Moist, fertile, and well-drained soil.
Love-In-A-Mist (Nigella damascena)
Image Soon Marigold, Lemon Gem (Tagetes signata)
Image Soon Marigold, Tangerine Gem (Tagetes tennifolia)
Image Soon Marjoram, Hardy (Origanum x majorana)

Marjoram is a highly perfumed herb with thick trusses of dainty white or purple flowers which make it a highly decorative herb that is suitable for the flower garden. In warmer climates it is a perennial, but it is treated as a half-hardy annual in colder areas since it will not survive a severe winter.

  • Culinary: Leaves and flowers are used fresh or dried in an increasing amount of recipes. Goes great with meats, and fish, and a large variety of vegetables. Marinades, stews, and sauces call for this herb. A very important seasoning for sausage in Germany.
  • Medicinal: In the past, it has been used for asthma, toothaches, and even cancer. Nowadays, it is only used for a mild relief of sinus congestion.
  • Aromatic: Used in potpourris and herb pillows.
  • Full sun
  • 12 inches in height.
  • Pinch the plant back just before they bloom to maintain their shape.
  • Perennial
  • Light, dry, and well-drained soil.
Image Soon Marjoram, Sweet (Origanum majorana)

Originating in the Mediterranian, this herb is frequently used in the dishes from the area. This is the most popular marjoram for cooking, and it is closely associated with turkey stuffing.

  • Culinary: Foliage is widely used in sauces, salads, and cheeses. Popular in France, and Italy with the use of many meats, fish, and vegetables.
  • Medicinal:An aromatic tea aids in digestion, flatulance, colds, and headaches. Also stimulates circulation.
  • Aromatic: The foliage gives off a sweet and pungent smell. Foliage is used in potpourri.
  • Full Sun
  • 12 inches in height.
  • Protect from the cold.
  • Perennial.
  • Dry, Well-Drained soil.
Mint, Apple (Mentha suaveolens)

A fast growing mint , with rounded toothed leaves. A fruity addition to the garden, and an excellent indoor grower.

  • Culinary: Fruit salads, cheeses, jellies, sauces, teas.
  • Medicinal: Chew on leaves for bad breath.
  • Aromatic: A slight apple scent to the foliage.
  • Ornamental: Great addition for those places where an aromatic groundcover is needed. Also used as a garnish.
  • Sun to part-shade
  • 20-24 inches in height.
  • Young new foliage has the best flavor when it comes to mints.
  • Perennial
  • Moist, Well-Drained soil.
Mint, Chocolate (Mentha x piperata 'Chocolate')

Fast-growing, with dark foliage. Unique scent reminiscent of chocolate.

Mint, Corsican (Mentha requienii)

Tiny green peppermint scented leaves with small flowers make this an interesting ground cover for the herb garden. Corsican mint is not a tall grower.

  • Culinary: A strong peppermint flavor to the foliage. The flavor of Creme de Menthe originated from this Mint. Not very popular for culinary uses.
  • Ornamental: Tight growth habit with lavender colored flowers make this Mint an attractive groundcover. Grows well in shady, moist conditions.
  • Aromatic: Strong scent of Peppermint. Especially when crushed.
  • Part-Shade to Sun.
  • Creeper
  • Protect from cold. Not very hardy.
  • Tender Perennial
  • Moist, Well-Drained soil.
Image Soon Mint, Curly (Mentha spicata 'Crispii')

Attractive, light green, round curly leaves. A curly form of the Spearmint, however not as strong in flavor or scent.

  • Culinary: Same properties as spearmint. Used in jellies, jams, sauces, marinades, stuffings, and added to salads. Many uses in the kitchen. Also popular in vinegars.
  • Medicinal: Most mints are stimulants and aid in digestion, and help to reduce flatulance.
  • Aromatic: Mild scent of Spearmint.
  • Ornamental: Round, curled foliage adds more interest than most of the other mints.
  • Sun to Part-Shade.
  • 12-16 inches in height.
  • Frequent cutting or mowing keeps mint under control, and helps fill in the plant with lush foliage.
  • Perennial
  • Moist, Well-Drained soil.
Mint, Emerald & Gold (Mentha x gentilis 'Variegata')

Emerald green foliage with splashes of gold variegation add ornamental attraction to this mint. Also known as Ginger Mint.

  • Culinary: A nice minty flavor with a hint of a ginger spice. Adds an excellent zip to many dishes.
  • Aromatic: The spicy scent of ginger is emitted from the foliage.
  • Ornamental: Golden variegated foliage makes it a very attractive mint in the garden.
  • Sun to Part-Shade.
  • 12-16 inches in height
  • Prune to renew the growth of the golden variegation
  • Perennial
  • Moist, Well-Drained soil.
Mint, Kentucky Colonel (Mentha spicata 'Kentucky Colonel')

This vigorous plant is the best mint for making Mint Juleps. One of the most aromatic mints with larger leaves good for cutting.

Image Soon Mint, Lime
Image Soon Mint, Mountain (Pycnanthemum verticillatum)

Quickly spreading with a minty-flovored.

Image Soon Mint, Nigra (Mentha Nigra)

The strongest smelling mint of them all.

Mint, Orange (Mentha x piperita 'Citrata')

Fast growing with dark foliage and a strong fruit-like flavor unlike other mints. Well known for it's scent.

  • Culinary: Great for tea, jams, jellies, vinegars, stuffings, and a wide varirety of fish, meats, and poultry.
  • Medicinal: Most mints are stimulants and aid in digestion, and help to reduce flatulance.
  • Aromatic: A strong fruity scent is given by the foliage of this mint. Used to scent soaps and perfumes.
  • Ornamental: Purple tinged foliage with purple stems adds interest to this herb.
  • Sun to Part-Shade
  • 12-18 inches in height.
  • Pick leaves just before flowering.
  • Perennial
  • Moist, Well-Drained soil.
Mint, Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Bieng one of the most popular of all mints, you can probably find it just about anywhere. Dating back to greek mythology, it has made it's way through time as an increasingly popular herb.

  • Culinary: The prime choice nmint in flavoring candy, gum, tea and many other sweets. Used for jelly, jam, vinegars, and in chocolate desserts..
  • Medicinal: Tea helps digestion, colds, hiccups, and flatulance. Oil is great for migraines and muscular aches. Peppermint is the source for Menthol. Menthol helps with digestion, muscle spasms, and upset stomachs. The scent helps clear the mind and your air passages. Also helps with bad breath.
  • Aromatic: The distinctive scent of Peppermint fills the air, especially when walked through, or stepped on. Used in potpourris. Makes an aromatic and refreshing bath. Helps bad breath.
  • Full Sun to Part Shade.
  • 24 inches in height
  • Deters rodents.
  • Perennial.
  • Moist, Well-Drained soil.
Mint, Pineapple (Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata')

A mild apple mint flavor with a remarkeable variegation and a delicious scent to the foliage. AN excellent ornamental mint.

  • Culinary: Seeing it is a variety of Apple MInt, it has the same uses. Fruit salads, cheeses, jellies, sauces, teas, jams, and vinegars are just a few products that mint is a popular ingredient to.
  • Medicinal: Chew on leaves for bad breath.
  • Aromatic: A delicious pineapple scent is hard to resist. Frequently added to potpourris and mint bags.
  • Ornamental: A creamy variegation around the edge of bright green leaves make it quit striking. A bit shorter and easier to contain than it's close relative Apple Mint.
  • Full Sun to Part-Shade.
  • 12-16 inches in height.
  • Pineapple Mint last longer into the winter than most other mints.
  • Perennial.
  • Moist, Well-Drained soil.
Mint, Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

The second most popular Mint, just behind the all popular Peppermint. Dating back to greek mythology as well, Spearmint and Peppermint almost go hand in hand.

  • Culinary: Jelly, sauces, teas, vinegar. A bit milder than Peppermint, enhansing the taste of many meats, fish, and poultry. A huge favorite in vegetable dishes. Also a flavor for gum and other candies.
  • Medicinal: Inhale rags with Spearmint oil on it to help aid in Cold Digestion. Use oil for migraines, and muscular aches.
  • Aromatic: The smell of mint is always something to please the senses. Fills the garden with the wonderful smell.
  • Ornamental: Rated as the number one garden mint. Keep pruned to encourage lush growth.
  • Full Sun to part shade.
  • 24 inches in height.
  • Youger leaves and stems have the most flavor.
  • Perennial.
  • Moist, Well-Drained soil.
Image Soon Myrtle, Green (Myrtus cummunis)

Related closely trough time to Venus, the greek legend. There are many stories behind the relationship of the legend and the mystical plant, but fact is, that the plants beauty still lives on today.

  • Culinary: Young branches are cooked with meats to add flavor. Berries are ground up and used as a spice. Flowers may be added to fresh salads for a bit of ornamental property.
  • Medicinal: A tea is made for sinus relief. Foliage may be compressed to be applied to cuts and bruises.
  • Aromatic: Foliage and flowers are added to potpourri.
  • Ornamental: Myrtle is commonly used in the art of topiary. You may find it in many shapes and forms. White flowers from late-summer to fall.
  • Full Sun
  • 8-10 feet in height.
  • Protect from wind. Leaves have greatest scent when plant is in flower. Keep from cold
  • Perennial, evergreen.
  • Well-Drained soil.
Image Soon Nasturtium, Alaska (Tropaeolum majus 'Alaska')

Originating in Peru, and then brought to Spain, this decorative herb slowly began to spread in popularity. Saucer shaped leaves, and colorful trumpet-like flower were just the beginning of the neccesity for this herb.

  • Culinary: Flowers and leaves have a peppery taste. Flower buds are a great substitute for Capers, and are delicious if pickled in vinegar. Foliage and flowers may be tossed into a fresh salad.
  • Ornamental: Flower from early summer to frost. Foiliage has a splash of variegation to it, making it a pleasing addition to your garden.
  • Full Sun
  • 12 inches in height.
  • Nasturtiums grown in a shady, moist area will grow much foliage, but will not flower as nice.
  • Annual
  • Moist, Well-drained soil.
Image Soon Nasturtium, Jewel Mix (Tropaeolum majus 'Jewel MIx')

Originating in Peru, and then brought to Spain, this decorative herb slowly began to spread in popularity. Saucer shaped leaves, and colorful trumpet-like flower were just the beginning of the neccesity for this herb.

  • Culinary: Flowers and leaves have a peppery taste. Flower buds are a great substitute for Capers, and are delicious if pickled in vinegar. Foliage and flowers may be tossed into a fresh salad.
  • Ornamental: Flower from early summer to frost. Nice green round foliage with white veins. Reminds one of a lily pad leaf. Beautiful flowers.
  • Full Sun
  • 12 inches in height.
  • Nasturtiums grown in a shady, moist area will grow much foliage, but will not flower as nice.
  • Annual
  • Moist, Well-drained soil.
Image Soon Nasturtium, Red Wonder (Tropaeolum majus 'Red Wonder')

Originating in Peru, and then brought to Spain, this decorative herb slowly began to spread in popularity. Saucer shaped leaves, and colorful trumpet-like flower were just the beginning of the neccesity for this herb.

  • Culinary: Flowers and leaves have a peppery taste. Flower buds are a great substitute for Capers, and are delicious if pickled in vinegar. Foliage and flowers may be tossed into a fresh salad.
  • Ornamental: Flower from early summer to frost. Nice green round foliage with white veins. Reminds one of a lily pad leaf. Beautiful flowers.
  • Full Sun
  • 12 inches in height.
  • Nasturtiums grown in a shady, moist area will grow much foliage, but will not flower as nice.
  • Annual
  • Moist, Well-drained soil.
Image Soon Oregano, Gold (Origanum aureum)

Beautiful gold foliage with the same all-around properties as greek oregano. This plant difficult to tell apart from gold marjoram, seeing marjoram and oregano are closely related.

  • Culinary: Oregano has a hot, peppery flavor to it. Used in the spanish field of cooking for that reason. Italians use it widely in their cooking, for it's wonderfull addition to sauces, and pasta.
  • Medicinal: There are many beliefs of the medicinal power of this herb today. It is said to promote menstruation, help coughs, headaches, and indigestion.
  • Ornamental: Golden foliage will allways add accent to a garden.
  • Full Sun
  • 12-24 inches in height.
  • Careful if planting from seed. You never know what species you will end up with. Oregano is commonly confused.
  • Perennial
  • Well-Drained soil.
Oregano, Greek (Origanum prismaticum)

With more of an upright growing habit, and a stronger scent than the rest of the oreganos, Greek is the popular choice. Closely related to the Marjorams, some varieties are almost identical, and hard to tell apart.

  • Culinary: Oregano has a hot, peppery flavor to it. Used in the spanish field of cooking for that reason. Italians use it widely in their cooking, for it's wonderfull addition to sauces, and pasta.
  • Medicinal: There are many beliefs of the medicinal power of this herb today. It is said to promote menstruation, help coughs, headaches, and indigestion.
  • Full Sun
  • 12-24 inches in height.
  • Careful if planting from seed. You never know what species you will end up with. Oregano is commonly confused.
  • Perennial
  • Well-Drained soil.
Image Soon Oregano, Hopley's (Origanum
Image Soon Oregano, Mexi Lippa (Tagetes lucida)
Oregano, Santa Cruz (Origanum vulgare 'Santa Cruz')
Oregano, Variegated (Origanum vulgare 'Variegata')

Greeks and Romans began using this herb for it's medicinal purposes. Oregano has been confused through time, seeing that no one could really tell what kind they were using for specific ailments.

  • Culinary: Oregano has a hot, peppery flavor to it. Used in the spanish field of cooking for that reason. Italians use it widely in their cooking, for it's wonderfull addition to sauces, and pasta.
  • Medicinal: There are many beliefs of the medicinal power of this herb today. It is said to promote menstruation, help coughs, headaches, and indigestion.
  • Ornamental: Nicely variegated foliage makes this the most ornamental of all the oreganos. All the fine uses of Oregano in a highly decorative plant.
  • Aromatic: Oregano is used in some regions as a house plant, and when walked by or brushed, gives a nice oregano fragrance.
  • Full Sun
  • 12 inches in height
  • Great with Spanish/Mexican dishes
  • Tender Perennial
  • Well-Drained soil.
Image Soon Parsley, Curly (Petroselinum crispum)

Parsley is one of the best known and most widely used herbs. It is actually a biennial, but is usually cultivated as an annual because the first year leaves have the best of flavor.

  • Culinary: Salads, soups are great for the addition of the foliage. The root is also added to soups and stews. A fresh sprig is eaten for a breath freshener.
  • Medicinal: High in vitamins. Not very popular medicinally.
  • Ornamental:Beautiful curled foliage is used as a garnish on many plates, but seldom eaten when used for garnish. Also adds beauty to the garden with its deep green foliage.
  • Full Sun.
  • 12-18 inches in height.
  • Weed often to keep it productive.
  • Biennial
  • Well-Drained soil
Image Soon Parsley, Italian (Petroselinum crispum 'Nepolitanum')

Superior in taste, and size compared to the curled version, but of less ornamental value. Stll has the dark green foliage from its high content of chlorophyll.

  • Culinary: Salads, soups are great for the addition of the foliage. The root is also added to soups and stews. A fresh sprig is eaten for a breath freshener.
  • Medicinal: High in vitamins. Not very popular medicinally.
  • Ornamental:Beautiful curled foliage is used as a garnish on many plates, but seldom eaten when used for garnish. Also adds beauty to the garden with its deep green foliage.
  • Full Sun.
  • 18 inches in height.
  • Weed often to keep it productive.
  • Biennial
  • Well-Drained soil
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)

Widely known for its aromatic values. One drop will uplift senses. Used significantly in India, and other Asian countries. Originally from tropical climates, such as S.E. Asia.

  • Medicinal: The most important part of this plant is the young foliage, in which the oil is derived. Used as an antiseptic, antidepressant, and even a sedative. Smaller quantities can uplift one's spirits, and too much, may sedate you. Also used as a remedy for venemous snake and insect bites.
  • Aromatic: Used in aromatherapy to cure many ailments.Foliage is used in potpourris, and the oil is used in perfumes.
  • Full Sun
  • 24-30 inches in height.
  • Loves the sun + heat. Protect from cold.
  • Perennial
  • Well-Drained Soil
Image Soon Pennyroyal, Creeping (Mentha pulegium)

There are two types of Pennyroyal- American and European. European being the one that is creeping. American is a more of an upright grower, widely used by American indians. Paying attention to Pennyroyal's botanical name, Pulegium, in latin, Pulex means 'flea'.

  • Medicinal: Tea is a product of this herb to help soothe painful stomachs. Oil from Pennyroyal has been used to promote abortion. Oil is considered toxic. Pennyroyal oil is also used in many types of insect repellant, and if you crush the leaf and rub into skin, they will stay away.
  • Aromatic: The foliage smells of peppermint, and the plant is actually related to the mint family.
  • Full Sun to part shade.
  • 4-16 inches in height.
  • Urged not to use as a home remedy.
  • Perennial
  • Rich, moist soil.
Image Soon Perilla (Perilla frutescens)

Attractive red-purple foliage wins this herb a spot in many gardens. Used frequently, and native to the oriental region, Perilla is highly cultivated for its culinary and medicinal values.

  • Culinary: Japanese use it in sushi to reduce the chance of bacteria poisoning. Foliage and chutes are a big ingredient in stir fries, and deep fries. The seeds are used as flavoring for pickles
  • Medicinal: Used as a remedy for coughs, colds, morning sickness, and indigestion. Also used as antidote to poisonous bites.
  • Aromatic: The foliage is added to potpourris. it has a slight cinnamon scent.
  • Ornamental: Red-Purple foliage and pink flowers bring the ornamental values of this plant to the eye.

 

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Last Revised - - December 14, 2002