Plant Guide: Herbs (He-Pr)

Check out our complete guide to herbs from He to Pr.
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Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Hesperis matronalis

Sweet rocket is an attractive herb that produces a lovely clovelike sweet scent in early evening. The leaves are a little bitter but can be used in salads in moderation. Easy to grow from seed and a good drought-resistant, bee, butterfly and moth plant.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Humulus lupulus

The easy-to-grow hop is of great economic importance globally in the brewing industry and is a superb vigorous climber in the garden. Feed it well and ensure the plant is kept under control as spreading suckers can become a problem.
Height: 20 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Hypericum perforatum

Mainly grown as an ornamental shrub, this herb was historically a bit of a "cure-all," but is now used to treat neuralgia and sunburn. Giving off a nasty aroma when handled, it is poisonous to livestock so should not be grown on boundaries.
Height: 24-42 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Hyssopus officinalis

Useful as an alternative low hedging plant if kept well trimmed, the blue spikes of hyssop are very attractive to bees and butterflies. Deadhead regularly to promote flowering. Use sparingly in fatty stews and soups or add the flowers to salads.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Hyssopus officinalis f. albus

This pure white flowered cultivar is as aromatic and useful as the blue but, to ensure white progeny, must be propagated by softwood cuttings in summer. Growing from seed is easy in spring, but may yield blue, white or pink flowered plants.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Hyssopus officinalis "Roseus"

Contrasts well with gray leaved plants and, as with the blue and white forms, can be renovated if it becomes straggly or ungainly by cutting back hard in spring. Propagate by softwood cuttings or, if color is unimportant, by seed in spring.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Inula helenium

Elecampane is a statuesque giant among large perennial herbs that dies back below ground in winter. It is little used as a herb today, but was important to the Romans. The candied roots are edible and smell of ripe bananas when harvested.
Height: 3-6 feet
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Jasminum humile

A useful slightly scented scrambler for dappled shade, the leaves and bark can be used for a tea. The roots have been used as a cure for intestinal worms. Almost evergreen, some protection over winter may be needed in colder climates.
Height: 0 inches
Spread: 0 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Jasminum officinale

The flowers of this vigorous climber are deliciously scented and used in perfumery as well as eaten or dried for use as a tea substitute. Some protection may be needed in colder areas until established. Do not use the poisonous berries.
Height: 40 feet
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade
Award-winning plant

Jasminum sambac

In cool areas, grow this tender climber under cover or in a conservatory. It is tolerant of light shade and grows well in containers if kept barely moist. The scented flowers are used in teas, for flavoring deserts, and in perfumery.
Height: 6-10 feet
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade
Award-winning plant

Juniperus communis

This slow-growing, large conifer is extensively used for both medicinal and culinary purposes, including the production of gin. However, in excess, it can cause renal damage and should not be used in any quantity by pregnant women.
Height: 1.5-20 feet
Spread: 3-20 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Laurus nobilis

The dried leaves are widely used in cooking, but fresh leaves taste better. Easy to grow in containers, but will need regular repotting and keeping barely moist over winter. The leaves are a deterrent to weevils, but bay is prone to attack by scale insects.
Height: 40 feet
Spread: 30 feet
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade
Award-winning plant

Lavandula angustifolia "Hidcote"

This classic lavender is grown for its dark purple flower spikes that appear from midsummer. It makes a wonderful hedge. The aromatic leaves have a wide range of medicinal uses, although it is the essential oil that is most commonly used.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Lavandula angustifolia "Munstead"

Another popular lavender with purple-blue flower spikes. Because lavenders are evergreen, their strongly aromatic foliage can be appreciated year-round. Its long-lasting scent has a soothing and relaxing effect.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Lavandula angustifolia "Royal Purple"

A fine cultivar of lavender, chosen for its long purple flowerheads from midsummer. Like other lavenders, the fresh or dried flowers can be used as a flavoring for tea, jams, ice creams, vinegars, or oils. The leaves are also used as a cooking or salad ingredient.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Lavandula canariensis

This lavender from the Canary Islands needs protection in winter if it is to live from one year to the next. But the effort this takes is rewarded with stunningly vivid blue flowers in summer set against the the form's bright green leaves.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Lavandula x ginginsii "Goodwin Creek Gray"

Very long, purple flowers are borne throughout much of summer above the velvety foliage of this lavender. Unlike others, the sweet-scented, silvery leaves are fairly wide and toothed. The flowers are not edible.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Lavandula x intermedia "Impress Purple"

This hybrid lavender shares the same qualities as L. angustifolia, although it is a taller, more bushy plant with sprawling stems. When in full flower, there is a beautiful cloud of purple rising above the silvery green foliage.
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 5 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Lavandula lanata

Woolly lavender is known for its downy, silvery-gray foliage with the characteristic lavender scent and herbal properties. To grow well, it needs to be protected from winter wet to prevent the roots from rotting. The flowers appear in midsummer.
Height: 20 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Lavandula pendunculata subsp. pendunculata

Spanish lavender is a very desirable plant for the ornamental herb garden. In midsummer, its flowerheads are topped by long, pale purple petals that look like they are floating above the pale green foliage.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Lavandula pinnata

This frost-tender lavender cannot survive frosty winters, yet it makes a good windowsill herb, either for the greenhouse or kitchen. The finely toothed leaves are quite distinctive and the vivid blue flowers in summer are exquisite.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Lavandula stoechas

French lavender is grown for its silvery aromatic leaves, used for essential oils, as incense, for potpourri, and sometimes as an insect repellent. The flowers steal the show with their distinctive "ears" of purple sprouting from each flowerhead.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Lavandula stoechas "With Love"

Several cultivars of French lavender exist, chosen purely for ornamental reasons. "With Love" has long, pale purple "ears." "Kew Red" has reddish purple flowers, although it dislikes wet soil in winter and will die in all but the most free-draining of soils.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Levisticum officinale

Lovage is a substantial perennial that is very easy to grow from seed in spring, but needs plenty of space. Makes lovely soup on its own and the seeds and its young celery-scented leaves can be added to salads. Cut back in midsummer to rejuvenate.
Height: 6 feet
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Ligusticum scoticum

Scots or sea lovage is useful in maritime areas and is more compact and not as strongly scented as Levisticum officinale. It can be grown in a large container, but will not tolerate shade. Sow seed when fresh in the fall.
Height: 15-24 inches
Spread: 16 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Lonicera pericylmenum

This sweetly scented, vigorous climber is very useful in the partially shaded garden and its flowers can be used in salads and potpourris. The berries are toxic and should not be eaten. Old plants can be renovated by cutting back hard in early spring.
Height: 22 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Melilotus officinalis

A saline-tolerant biennial herb best grown in a wildflower meadow as it is very attractive to bees. Fresh leaves are a good flavoring for stews and salads, but dried leaves can be toxic. It dies after flowering, so best grown as an annual from seed in spring.
Height: 5 feet
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Melissa officinalis "All Gold"

The lemon-scented leaves of lemon balm are widely used as food flavorings as well as in many cordials and liqueurs. It makes a lovely tea and the whole plant can act as an insect repellent. Self-seeds prolifically, so cut back as the tiny flowers fade.
Height: 2-4 feet
Spread: 12-18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Melissa officinalis "Aurea"

This variegated, beautifully aromatic cultivar is a more compact clump-former then M. officinalis and does not set seed quite so vigorously, but it is just as useful in the kitchen. Reversion to plain green can occur over time.
Height: 2-4 feet
Spread: 12-18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Mentha x piperita f. citrata

Lemon mint is too aromatic for many people, but makes lovely herbal teas and iced drinks. It is widely used commercially in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries and is easy to grow, although it needs containerizing as can be invasive.
Height: 20 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Mentha x piperita "Logee's"

Grown in a pot, this is a lovely, more compact green and white variegated cultivar. The leaves are strongly spearmint flavored and can be used in cooking as well as fresh or dried to make a flavorsome tea that aids the digestion.
Height: 20 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Mentha pulegium

Historically an important medicinal herb, pennyroyal can be used as a digestive tonic, but must be avoided by pregnant women. This herb is easy to grow from seed and its spearmint-like flavor is useful in potpourris. It is also a useful ground cover plant.
Height: 4-16 inches
Spread: 20 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Mentha requienii

Corsican mint is robust, vigorous, ground hugging, and tiny leaved, ideal for filling cracks in pavement. It releases a lovely scent when crushed and will tolerate being walked on. Best propagated by division and over wintered in a sheltered spot.
Height: 1/2 inch
Spread: Indefinite
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Mentha spicata

Spearmint has a very refreshing, clean flavor. Often used in making mint sauce, jellies and tea, it is a good bee plant, but repellent to other insects, rats and mice. It should ideally be planted in a container as it spreads rapidly in open ground.
Height: 3 feet
Spread: Indefinite
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Mentha x villosa var. alopecuroides Bowles's mint

A flavorsome, mauve flowered, large mint that is best grown in a restricted space or container. Easily propagated from root cuttings or congested clumps, it can be lifted and divided when in active growth.
Height: 12-36 inches
Spread: Indefinite
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Monarda didyma

Native to North America, the edible flowers of bee balm look stunning in a salad and the fresh or dried leaves make the herbal classic oswego tea. Very attractive to butterflies, it is easy to grow but short lived and can be propagated by division in spring.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Monarda fistulosa

Historically, wild bee balm is widely used for digestive and bronchial disorders. The fresh leaves have a sweet, oreganolike flavor and can be used in meat dishes or as a herbal tea. Happy in heavy soils, it will not tolerate dryness or drought.
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Murraya koenigii

Grow in a large container as a conservatory or houseplant, the aromatic leaves are used to make curry powder and the peppery red fruits can be used as a seasoning. It is slow growing and can be fickle, but is worth the effort.
Height: 10 feet
Spread: 10 feet
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Myrrhis odorata

Sweet Cicely is easy to grow from fresh seed or divisions and the delicate aniseed-flavored leaves are good in salads and as a sweetener in acidic stewed fruits. The seeds are a good breath freshener if chewed; for the best flavor, gather when green.
Height: 6 feet
Spread: 5 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Moist soil
Sun or Shade: Partial or dappled shade

Myrtus communis

A useful evergreen shrub, myrtle’s aromatic leaves can be used fresh or dried in stews and game dishes as well as potpourris. It is quite tender but will survive some frosts if over wintered in a sheltered spot and protected from excessive wet.
Height: 10 feet
Spread: 10 feet
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Nepeta cataria

Cats either love this aromatic herb or are totally indifferent, hence its common name of cat nip. The leaves act as an insect repellent in the vegetable garden while the tall flower spikes are a useful addition to the flower border.
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Ocimum basilicum "Cinnamon"

Like all basils, this cultivar is easy to grow but best if treated like a tender annual and sown in pots in a warm, well-ventilated spot. Cinnamon-scented, purple-veined leaves can be added to spicy stir fries or salad dressings. Attractive flowerheads.
Height: 12-24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Ocimum basilicum "Dark Opal"

The highly aromatic dark leaves of “Dark Red Opal” have many culinary uses, but are best used where the color will contrast with other ingredients in salads, pasta, and rice dishes. It grows well in a deep pot with sharply draining compost.
Height: 12-24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Ocimum basilicum "Lettuce Leaved"

Very aromatic and sweet, the large leaves are useful for wrapping around feta cheese or cherry tomatoes. Needs more space than the smaller-leaved cultivars. Keep pinching out tips or trimming back to ensure a continual supply of young leaves.
Height: 12-24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens "Red Rubin"

A spectacular, deep purple, strongly-scented leaf. As with all basils, this herb will not tolerate excess wetness, so water in the early morning and do not allow to stand in water over night. It also needs a sheltered spot.
Height: 12-24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Ocimum basilicum x citriodorum "Siam Queen"

The mulberry-colored flower bracts are very attractive, but need to be pinched out to ensure a supply of the slightly aniseed-flavored fresh leaves. It is superb as a container plant on the patio.
Height: 12-24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Ocimum basilicum "Sweet Thai"

The sweetly-scented leaves with a hint of liquorice are used in Thai curries — often added by the handful. It is best grown as an annual from seed sown in spring and early summer. "Sweet Thai" will not tolerate drought or sitting in cold water.
Height: 12-24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Origanum dictamnus

A drought-tolerant, prostrate or mound-forming shrubby herb that will not stand excessive wet. Use the aromatic woolly leaves of hop marjoram as a dried seasoning mixed with parsley, thyme, and garlic. The flowering tips make a calming tea.
Height: 6 inches
Spread: 8 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Origanum laevigatum "Herrenhausen"

The dark green leaves and purple stems and flowers of this robust, fully hardy oregano (or marjoram) make a strikingly good contrast in the herb garden and the leaves substitute very well for the less ornamental or fickle forms of Origanum.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Origanum "Kent Beauty"

A unpredictable herb that rewards the effort with beautifully ruffled flower bracts above aromatic leaves on trailing stems. Not tolerant of winter wet, but it grows well in screelike conditions and is attractive to bees and butterflies.
Height: 4 inches
Spread: 8 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Origanum vulgare "Acorn Bank"

Wild marjoram is an easily grown, spreading kitchen herb that suits most soils in sun, although golden-leaved varieties tolerate partial shade. The uses are mostly culinary, being an important flavoring in many Mediterranean dishes.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: Indefinite
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Origanum vulgare "Aureum"

This golden-leaved variety of wild marjoram is in particular need of partial shade if it is to grow well. It can be used in the kitchen as for all other varieties and its medicinal uses are as an antiseptic and as an essential oil in aromatherapy.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: Indefinite
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Partial or dappled shade
Award-winning plant

Origanum vulgare "Polyphant"

A darker-leaved variety of wild marjoram, each one with a narrow, cream-colored edge. An unusual variety for the kitchen herb border. Like other varieties of marjoram, the flowers are pink and small, appearing from midsummer.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: Indefinite
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Petroselinum crispum

An essential culinary herb for garnishing and flavoring, curly-leaved parsley is easy to grow from seed. Deadhead and trim regularly to ensure a succession of succulent leaves, which are a useful relief to garlic breathe.
Height: 32 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Petroselinum crispum "Italian"

Flat-leaved parsley resents transplanting or root disturbance, so it is best grown in modules or directly into the ground. Good in deep containers, parsley is a hungry herb and needs regular feeding. Sow a fresh batch annually.
Height: 32 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Pimpinella anisum

Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac, this aromatic annual is now used as the anise flavoring in various liquors. Pimpinella anisum is not particularly ornamental, but it is easy to grow and useful in companion planting to reduce aphid and insect problems.
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Plectranthus amboinicus

This highly aromatic, camphorous- or oregano-scented tender herb is easy to grow as a houseplant with a minimum temperature of 50 degrees F. The leaves are good with chicken and rice dishes and also have some antiseptic properties.
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Partial or dappled shade

Portulaca oleracea

The leaves of pigweed are very succulent and a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Sow seed in modules or directly in the ground in spring. For salads, regularly harvest fresh young leaves and seedheads, cutting from the tips not the sides.
Height: 4-8 inches
Spread: 6 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Primula veris

A once common wildflower in meadows, primroses are now protected in many countries. Young leaves and flowers are good in salads and a fine wine, and herbal tea can be brewed from the flowers. Divide in the fall or propagate from seed.
Height: 10 inches
Spread: 10 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade
Award-winning plant