Plant Guide: Herbs (Rh-Zi)

Check out our complete guide to herbs from Rh to Zi.
From: DK Books - Herbs
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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

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

Rheum palmatum

While the leaves of all rhubarbs are poisonous, the rhizomes of Chinese rhubarb have been used extensively in herbal medicine. The stems are not edible, but this statuesque plant is a very useful feature with its long leaves and tall flower stems.
Height: 8 feet
Spread: 6 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Ribes nigrum "Ben Connan"

All parts of this widely grown culinary shrub are highly aromatic and its fruits are high in vitamin C and used in cordials and liquors. Dried blackcurrant leaves make a good tea and an infusion from dried berries is a good mouthwash or gargle.
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Rosa canina

Not very valuable as an ornamental rose, the fresh hips of dog rose make good wines, jams, and syrups as well as being quite tasty raw, but remove the irritant seed hairs just beneath the fruit flesh. Rosehip tea is made from macerated hips.
Height: 10 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Rosmarinus officinalis

This evergreen aromatic shrub is an essential component of any herb garden. Easy to grow in most moist but well-drained soils, it will thrive in a container that is deeper than it is broad. However, once planted it doesn’t like being moved.
Height: 5 feet
Spread: 5 feet
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Rosmarinus officinalis "Miss Jessopp's Upright"

An erect variety, useful for informal hedges, whose fleshier, short, dark leaves are superb with lamb, soups, and stews. Use fresh young sprigs for the best flavor, but it can be dried for storage.
Height: 6 feet
Spread: 6 feet
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Rosmarinus officinalis "Roseus"

Seed collected in late summer is unlikely to come true, so propagate from cuttings in summer. The pink flowers are aromatic and can be used in salads and garnishes. Only prune in early summer, preferably immediately after flowering in the spring.
Height: 5 feet
Spread: 5 feet
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Rosmarinus Prostratus Group

A very useful sprawling aromatic herb that is good trailing over walls or out of containers and hanging baskets. As with all rosemary, it is attractive to bees and butterflies. Be careful not to disrupt the shape and form when harvesting or pruning in spring.
Height: 6 inches
Spread: 5 feet
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Rumex acetosa

Dock is very easy to grow from seed sown in spring. The acidic, young, lemony-flavored leaves are good used sparingly in salads or, when older and tougher, used to make soups and sauces. For a steady supply, harvest or cut back regularly.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Rumex scutatus

French sorrel is a good culinary herb, grown for its strongly flavored leaves that have an acidic lemon flavor. Use sparingly and sufferers of rheumatism, gout, or arthritis should avoid this plant. It is sprawling and makes good ground cover.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Ruscus aculeatus

The young shoots of this evergreen are mildly laxative and can be eaten as an asparagus substitute. It is best planted as an informal boundary hedge, as when mature, its spine-tipped leaves tend to be disliked by rabbits and other invaders.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade, full shade

Ruta graveolens "Variegata"

Common rue is a very attractive evergreen plant that can be used as a culinary herb but is incredibly bitter. The foliage can cause severe allergic reactions if handled, so wear gloves and site the plant well out of reach of children.
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 30 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Salix alba

A large tree whose leaves and bark have been extensively used medicinally as the precursor to aspirin. In smaller gardens, pollard willow to show its colorful young stems and it is very useful in moist or wet soil near watercourses or ponds.
Height: 80 feet
Spread: 30 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Salvia argentea

Silver sage is a foliage herb valued for its rosettes of large, silvery, hairy leaves that look impressive planted along the front of a herb border. It dies in its second year after flowering; Flowers are usually removed, but if left, the plant may self-seed.
Height: 18 inches
Spread: 18 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

Salvia clevelandii

Jim sage has pleasantly flavored andaromatic leaves that can be used as a substitute for common sage in cooking. It is an evergreen shrub with pinkish-blue whorls of flower clusters held well above the foliage in summer. It is attractive to bees.
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Salvia discolor

Andean sage is a native of Peru and its scandent habit enables its silver-backed blackcurrant-scented green leaves to be appreciated. Thin sticky stems support the almost black flowers. Some staking is needed and over winter in a cool greenhouse.
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 3 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

Salvia elegans "Scarlet Pineapple"

Pineapple sage is popular for its green, pineapple-scented leaves that can be used as a flavoring to savory dishes, salads, or drinks. In late summer, this variety carries bright red, trumpet-shaped flowers above the foliage.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 36 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Salvia officinalis

Common sage is a lovely evergreen shrubby herb, grown for its soft green, aromatic foliage, which has long been used as a medicine and in the kitchen. It is said to be an aid to digestion and can be made into a herb tea or added to savory dishes.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 30 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Salvia officinalis "Icterina"

This variegated form of common sage has pale green and yellow leaves and has the same uses in the herb garden as the species. Medicinally, sage is credited as making a good antiseptic mouthwash, and in small doses can be taken internally to treat various ills.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Salvia officinalis "Purpurascens"

Many herbalists believe the purple-leaved form of common sage to be the most potent form. It has been used to treat anxiety and depression, insect bites, and skin and mouth infections. Purple-blue flowers may appear in summer.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Salvia officinalis "Tricolor"

A popular sage with variegated leaves that are tinged red when young. These are always eye-catching in the ornamental herb garden as well as in the kitchen when used fresh. Sages are drought tolerant, but they benefit from extra water during dry periods.
Height: 30 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Salvia sclarea

Clary sage is biennial, growing grayish, textured, and aromatic leaves in the first summer and then white and purple-blue flowers late in the second summer before dying. These are attractive to bees. The leaves are used in the kitchen and medicinally.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Sanguisorba minor

Easy to grow from seed in late spring, the leaves of small burnet have a delicate cucumber flavor and can be added to salads or dried to make a herbal tea. Trim to reduce flowering and to promote a continuous supply of fresh young leaves.
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Santolina chamaecyparissus "Lemon Queen"

Cotton lavender is an aromatic gray-leaved shrub that makes a good alternative to box as a low hedging. It is vital to cut back after flowering. Propagation is easy by semi-ripe cuttings in late summer.
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

Santolina chamaecyparissus "Pretty Carol"

Regular trimming of this gray-green foliaged cultivar keeps it in shape, but do not trim in the fall as winter cold and wet could cause severe damage. The dried leaves are a moth repellent and can be added to potpourris.
Height: 16 inches
Spread: 16 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Saponaria officinalis

Soapwort is an attractive herb that was widely used medicinally, but should only be administered under a qualified herbalist’s orders. The crushed roots and leaves can be used as a shampoo for textiles. Best grown in a container as can be invasive.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 20 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Satureja hortensis

Grow each summer from seed sown in spring, summer savory germinates readily growing into a bushy plant whose leaves are a useful seasoning for meat dishes. Medicinally it can be used sparingly for a range of gastrointestinal disorders.
Height: 10 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Satureja montana

Winter savory is a hardy perennial that is a useful edging plant. It bushier than S. hortensis and has a stronger, more pungent flavor, so should be used in moderation. Cut back established plants in spring to promote vigorous, fresh growth.
Height: 16 inches
Spread: 8 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Satureja spicigera

This low-growing, late flowering prostrate shrublet combines well with thymes and basils in the herb garden and is a good bee and butterfly plant. When rubbed on the skin, the fresh leaves provide relief from irritant insect stings.
Height: 6 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Sempervivum tectorum

Drought resistant and fully hardy, this fleshy-leaved herb is rarely used nowadays for internal complaints, but if macerated, the leaves provide strong relief from burns, stings, and itches. Easy to grow and propagate from seeds or offset divisions.
Height: 6 inches
Spread: 20 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Stachys officinalis

This hairy, rhizomatic perennial naturalizes well in wildflower meadows and is easy to grow from seed sown in fall or spring. It is little used medicinally nowadays, but the flowers and leaves can be used to make an invigorating herbal tea.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Symphytum "Goldsmith"

A more compact, sprawling, variegated species of Symphytum that can be invasive if not kept under control. The hairy leaves of comfrey are an irritant, so cover the skin before handling the foliage. It is useful in the wild, woodland garden.
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Symphytum officinale

Common comfrey is a large, easy-to-grow perennial that is an essential addition to any herb garden. Useful as a compost activator and as a liquid feed. Historically an important medicinal herb, but do not use internally today.
Height: 5 feet
Spread: 6 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Symphytum x uplandicum

A very tall comfrey species only suitable as an ornamental in the larger garden, but can be grown as a plant food in the vegetable patch. Steep the leaves in water for 28 days or until decayed and dilute well before applying to food crops.
Height: 6 feet
Spread: 4 feet
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Tagetes "Lemon Gem"

The whole plant is aromatic with a lemon scent, especially when the leaves are crushed. An easy-to-grow, spring-sown annual, marigold has some insect-repellent properties and is allegedly effective against soil-borne nematodes.
Height: 9 inches
Spread: 16 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Tagetes lucida

Known as Spanish tarragon, this is a tender perennial that is unlikely to flower in colder climates. Grow from seed in a container and over winter in a sheltered site. The leaves are aniseed flavored and a stronger tasting alternative to tarragon.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Tagetes patula

A tall annual whose leaves have a refreshing pungent smell. Can be used in companion planting as it is reputed to control white fly, nematodes, ground elder, bindweed, and couch grass. If planting with tomatoes, select a compact cultivar.
Height: 6-12 inches
Spread: 16 inches
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Tanacetum balsamita

Historically used in the brewing industry to clarify ales, the aromatic, slightly mint-scented leaves are a moth repellent and useful addition to potpourris. Seed is not reliably viable, so best propagated by division in spring or fall.
Height: 36 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Tanacetum parthenium

This compact, short-lived aromatic perennial can become a problem if not deadheaded to prevent self-seeding. Feverfew tastes disgusting, but can be used externally to relieve insect stings. Very easy to propagate by stem cuttings or division.
Height: 18-24 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Tanacetum vulgare

Common tansy is a tall perennial of some value as a companion plant or in wetter wildflower meadows where it can spread readily. Historically a useful herb in brewing and dyeing, but can be highly toxic if taken internally or externally.
Height: 24-36 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Taraxacum officinale

The dandelion is not a herb that is likely to be deliberately cultivated as it can become a problem weed if allowed to set seed. However, the young leaves are a tasty addition to salads and the dried root makes a caffeine-free alternative to coffee.
Height: 3 inches
Spread: 6 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Teucrium chamaedrys

This herb forms a mat of evergreen foliage with upright flowers. Easily grown as a low hedge in a sunny, well-drained soil, it also thrives in walls and rockeries. Propagate by division in spring and keep in shape by clipping in spring and fall.
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Teucrium x lucidrys

A hybrid germander with aromatic, slightly spicy-scented glossy leaves, it is a good ground cover plant for a sunny, well-drained position and is often used in herb parterres. Easy to propagate by division in spring or by semi-hardwood cuttings in summer.
Height: 12-20 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus citriodorus

This is an excellent culinary thyme with larger lemon-scented, hairless, green leaves and pale pink flowers. It forms a bushy, rounded mound if kept well trimmed. The trimmings can then be dried or frozen in ice cubes for future use.
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 10 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus Coccineus Group

Matt-forming with trailing stems covered in finely haired small leaves. Its attractive, crimson-pink flowers are attractive to bees. Deadheading can be tricky and is more easily done using kitchen scissors. Propagate from cuttings in late summer.
Height: 10 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus doerfleri "Bressingham"

This thyme is a compact spreading sub-shrub with low-lying hairy stems. The aromatic gray-green leaves contrast with the clear pink flowers in summer. Plant the thyme in well-drained soil and remove any leaves that fall onto it in fall.
Height: 4 inches
Spread: 14 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus "Fragrantissimus"

The leaves of this compact bushy thyme are small and grayish-green with a lovely spicey orange scent. Deadhead or trim regularly to keep in shape and collect the cuttings for use in the kitchen. It is easy to propagate from seeds or cuttings.
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 8 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus "Golden King"

Strongly lemon scented with gold-margined, mid-green leaves. This variety is slightly more upright than its cousins if kept well trimmed and is easy to grow as a culinary herb in a container or windowbox in a bright sunny situation.
Height: 10 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus officinalis

The essential ingredient of bouquet garnis, with its aromatic, slightly hairy leaves, this is the traditional culinary and medicinal thyme. The mauve flowers are very attractive to bees and it is easy to grow from seed if surface sown in early spring.
Height: 10 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus praecox

This herb is a lovely small, creeping thyme that cross-pollinates and hybridizes readily. Many named cultivars can be unreliably scented, but some have a delightful orange or nutmeg scent. For consistency, only propagate from cuttings.
Height: 2 inches
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus pulegioides "Bertram Anderson"

A very decorative thyme with a mild thyme scent. It forms a rounded mound and is more substantially gold colored than many cultivars. Like all thymes, it dislikes being tread upon, but is useful between pavers.
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 10 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus serpyllum

Forms a dense mat that needs trimming regularly in summer to promote new growth and to prevent the mound spreading open. Many cultivars exist, which should be propagated from cuttings as seed will not produce true to type progeny.
Height: 10 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus serpyllum "Minimalist"

A very low-growing thyme with tiny leaves and pink flowers. Forms a compact mat rapidly if grown in a sunny, sharply-drained site. To prevent die-back and rotting, remove all fallen leaves and other detritus throughout the year.
Height: 2 inches
Spread: 4 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus vulgaris "Erectus"

Upright thyme is an unusual form of common thyme, as instead of spreading, the stems grow upward, resembling a small conifer. It grows slowly and the narrow leaves are packed with white flowers appearing in summer that attract bees.
Height: 6-12 inches
Spread: 16 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Thymus vulgaris "Siver Posie"

A lovely evergreen thyme with silver and gray variegations. It is quite vigorous, so needs regular trimming to keep in shape. Young plants can be cut back by half immediately after flowering—retain some trimmings as cutting material.
Height: 6-12 inches
Spread: 16 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Tropaeolum majus Alaska Series

A very easy-to-grow annual for sunny and shady positions. The leaves and flowers of nasturtiums are edible and both look and taste good in salads. Collect the large caperlike seeds in late summer and store in a cool, dry place for sowing the following spring.
Height: 3-10 feet
Spread: 5-15 feet
Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun
Award-winning plant

Valeriana officinalis

This tall, very variable plant is easy to grow in any damp, shady spot and is ideal in a wildflower meadow. It is valued medicinally as a sedative, but is addictive and has other adverse side effects. Sow seed in spring or divide clumps in the fall.
Height: 4-6 feet
Spread: 16-32 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Verbena officinalis

Used in homoeopathy for a variety of disorders, such as insomnia and migraines, and once believed to ward off plague, only use Verbena officinalis under medical supervision. It self-seeds readily and is best grown in the wildflower meadow.
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 20 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Viola odorata

This sweet-smelling hardy perennial herb is widely used in perfumery and medicinal remedies, such as a diuretic tea that alleviates rheumatic pain. The colorful leaves can be added to salads and the flowers are often candied or used as a garnish.
Height: 8 inches
Spread: 12 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Viola tricolor

An easy-to-grow, short-lived perennial, heartsease is best grown as an annual from seed, sown in the ground in spring. The leaves and flowers are edible, but in excess may cause vomiting. Deadhead regularly to promote new flower growth.
Height: 3-5 inches
Spread: 4-6 inches
Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

Zingiber officinale

Fresh ginger can be grown, but high temperatures are essential, so this is one best planted indoors. Plant a firm, plump sprouting root just below the surface of a well-drained compost in a conservatory or greenhouse at a minimum 68 degrees F.
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness: Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun