Plant Guide: Herbs (Ac-He)

Check out our complete guide to herbs from Ac to He.

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Herbs
  • English Mace is Good Culinary herb

    Achillea ageratum

    Also known as English mace, this aromatic perennial will grow almost anywhere, in any type of soil and looks statuesque in a large terracotta pot. Young tender leaves are best used in soups and for flavoring rice and pasta.
    Height: 24–28 inches
    Spread: 24–28 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Fern Leaf Yarrow Used as Cut Flower

    Achillea filipendulina

    A very large, rumbustious plant, grow it where there is plenty of space. The flowers are very attractive to beneficial insects, but should be deadheaded as they fade to prevent self-seeding — other trimmings make a useful compost accelerant.
    Height: 4 feet
    Spread: 18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Flat Heads of Yarrow Add Contrast to Garden

    Achillea millefolium

    Literally translated as \"a thousand leaf,\" this daintily foliaged cultivar will form a good clump over time. Useful in coastal regions, Achillea can be invasive if left to its own devices. Small amounts of young aromatic leaves are good in salads.
    Height: 24 inches
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Basil Thyme is Ancient Culinary Herb

    Acinos alpinus

    Basil thyme is a fully hardy perennial that is short lived and often fails to deliver its minty thymish scent. Best grown as an annual, it is no longer much used as a culinary or medicinal herb, but use the most aromatic flowering plants in salads.
    Height: 4-8 inches
    Spread: 3-6 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Monkshood is Perennial Shade Loving Plant

    Aconitum napellus

    Monkshood (or wolfsbane) is a stunning plant for most soils and thrives in dappled shade. Despite being very poisonous, it is extensively used in the pharmaceutical industry. If planting, site well out of reach of young children and grazing livestock.
    Height: 5 feet
    Spread: 12 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Sweet Flag Vertical Accent for Water Garden

    Acorus calamus

    Useful in wet soil or shallow water, sweet flag can provide structure to marginal plantings. Used in the past to produce an antibiotic tranquillizing oil, but its use is declared unsafe as a medicine in many parts of the world, including the US and UK.
    Height: 24-36 inches
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Full hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Moist soil, wet soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Japanese Rush Thrives in Wet Places

    Acorus gramineus

    Japanese rush is a semi-evergreen perennial that can be freely planted in aquariums, shallow water, and bog gardens and the rhizomes harvested (when not in flower) for roasting or stir-frying. Replant unused rhizomes to ensure continuity of supply.
    Height: 3-14 inches
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
    Soil Preference: Moist soil, wet soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Maidenhair Ferns Easy to Grow in Shady Spots

    Adiantum capillus-veneris

    The maidenhair fern is a medicinal herb that is easy to grow in shady sites as long as it is not allowed to dry out. Its leaves also make a refreshing tea. It spreads readily without being invasive and is easy to propagate in spring by division.
    Height: 12 inches
    Spread: 16 inches
    Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
    Soil Preference: Moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Partial or dappled shade

  • Ground Elder Can Be Difficult to Eradicate

    Aegopodium podagraria

    Ground elder is definitely not a herb to deliberately introduce to your garden. But if you have this rampant invasive already, its young leaves and shoots are perfectly delicious in salads and as the key ingredient for cold summer soups.
    Height: 12-24 inches
    Spread: Indefinite
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Partial or dappled shade, full shade

  • Korean Mint is Valuable Butterfly and Bee Plant

    Agastache rugosa

    This aniseed-scented hardy perennial is easy to grow in most scenarios, although some may find the flavor too strong. A valuable butterfly and bee plant, it is easy to grow from seed and is best treated as an annual in colder zones.
    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

  • Bugle Commonly Grown as Ground Cover

    Ajuga reptans

    A traditional medicinal plant with mild properties, bugle is now more commonly grown for the bees and as a colorful ground cover plant. It is easy to propagate and will grow well in shade, but ajuga is not a herb that tolerates drought.
    Height: 6 inches
    Spread: 24-36 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Partial or dappled shade

  • Hollyhock is Garden Standard and Vertical Accent

    Alcea rosea

    Now largely replaced by Althaea spp., the hollyhock is a lovely, statuesque perennial best grown as an annual. Let it set seed and it will pop up in the most unlikely spots. It is prone to rust, but a useful plant in the asthma sufferer's garden.
    Height: 5-8 feet
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Alpine Ladys Mantle Gives Garden a Cottage Look

    Alchemilla alpina

    This handsome dwarf foliage plant is reputedly more effective than A.mollis for treating diarrhea and most female ailments, especially menstrual problems. It is easy to grow and compact in form, but it self-seeds and hybridizes readily.
    Height: 3-5 inches
    Spread: 20 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Ladys Mantle Grown for Chartreuse Flowers

    Alchemilla mollis

    Lady's mantle is easy to grow in most gardens and very useful in mass plantings. Cut back as the flowerheads fade to avoid excessive self-seeding as otherwise A. mollis can become a problem. It is beautiful after rain showers.
    Height: 24 inches
    Spread: 30 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Garlic is Most Famous Herb in the World

    Allium sativum

    Garlic is one of the most famous of herbs, used worldwide for its varied culinary and medicinal properties. No herb garden should be without it, especially as it is so easy to grow. Plant the bulbs in fall and dig up the following summer.
    Height: 3 feet
    Spread: 9-12 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Chives are Culinary and Medicinal Onions

    Allium schoenoprasum \"Forescate\"

    This clump-forming culinary perennial onion is easily grown and generally trouble-free. The flowers are a colorful addition to salads or as a garnish. Experiment with different cultivars as they vary in size, stature and strength.
    Height: 12-24 inches
    Spread: 2 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Chinese Chives are Springtime Delicacy

    Allium tuberosum

    This culinary and medicinal onion is subtly garlic flavored and more substantial than ordinary chives. It is easy to grow from seed, but when harvesting, leave at least 6 inches standing. Divide congested clumps every year.
    Height: 10-20 inches
    Spread: 2 inches
    Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Wild Garlic is Cool Season Aromatic Perennial

    Allium ursinum

    Strongly pungent, these woodland natives, commonly known as wild garlic, can be used as a garlic or onion substitute. The flowers are also edible. Useful as a natural insect repellent, but it sets seed readily and can be invasive.
    Height: 6 inches
    Spread: 6 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Partial or dappled shade, full shade

  • Lemon Verbena Adds Lemony Flavor to Dishes

    Aloysia triphylla

    Insignificant flowers but this half-hardy shrub has highly fragrant lemon-scented leaves that can be used in teas, jellies, and potpourris. Can be slow to wake up in spring but easy to propagate from softwood cuttings.
    Height: 10 feet
    Spread: 10 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

  • Marshmallow is a Traditional Medicinal Herb

    Althaea officinalis

    Marshmallow is a traditional medicinal herb with large velvety leaves and tall spikes of pink or white flowers. Easy to grow from ripe seed in late summer with eratic germination in spring. Also a good butterfly and coastal plant.
    Height: 6 feet
    Spread: 5 feet
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Princess Feather has Bright Red Drooping Flowers

    Amaranthus hypochondriacus

    A spectacular culinary and ornamental half-hardy herb with long tassels. Young leaves are good raw in salads and older leaves cooked like cabbage. The seeds are a great wild bird food as well as having myriad culinary attributes.
    Height: 3-4 feet
    Spread: 12-18 inches
    Hardiness: Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
    Soil Preference: Moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Dill is Grown for Its Fronds and Seeds

    Anethum graveolens

    Dill is a pungent aromatic culinary and medicinal herb that is easily grown as an annual from seed sown at regular intervals from spring onward. Bolts if stressed but a useful companion plant attracting many beneficial insect predators.
    Height: 24 inches
    Spread: 4 feet
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Garden Angelica Has Very Aromatic Scent

    Angelica archangelica

    A massive feature plant best grown as a short-lived perennial that can self-seed freely. Thrives in fertile damp dappled shade and easy to propagate from fresh seed sown in autumn or spring. Young stems can be crystallized or candied.
    Height: 6 feet
    Spread: 4 feet
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Partial or dappled shade, full shade

  • Chervil Leaves has Reputation for Aiding Memory

    Anthriscus cerefolium

    Chervil is an indispensable culinary herb that really needs to be used fresh to keep its delicate flavor and also has a reputation as aiding the memory. Allegedly a slug repellent, it is easy to grow from seed sown at regular intervals.
    Height: 20 inches
    Spread: 10 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Sea Thrift Popular Plant for Rock Gardens

    Armeria maritima

    Sea thrift is a beautiful low perennial for light, well-drained soils in sun and is ideal for coastal gardens. The pretty pink flowers are borne from early to late summer. The leaves and roots are edible; and the whole dried plant is said to have antibiotic properties.
    Height: 8 inches
    Spread: 12 inches
    Hardiness: Full hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Horseradish Has Strong Flavor and Adds Pungency

    Armoracia rusticana

    Horseradish is cultivated for its spicy roots, which are collected in the fall; grated, these can be made into horseradish sauce. It is an easy plant to grow from divisions, although owing to its invasive nature, it is best planted on waste ground.
    Height: 3 feet
    Spread: 18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Leopards Bane is Yellow Flowering Perennial

    Arnica montana

    This clump-forming yellow flowered perennial has many proven medicinal uses, but it is considered unsafe for taking internally as a medicine. Arnica grows in moist acid soil that is well drained, but is a difficult herb that rarely thrives in lowland plantings.
    Height: 20 inches
    Spread: 12 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy soil
    Soil Preference: Well-draind soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Southernwood has Feathery Aromatic Foliage

    Artemisia abrotanum

    The aromatic, feathery, gray-green foliage of southernwood makes an excellent moth repellent as well as destroying intestinal worms. It is an easy-to-grow, woody shrub best pruned in late spring to keep it bushy. Tends not to flower in cooler climes.
    Height: 3 feet
    Spread: 3 feet
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun
    Award-winning plant

  • Aromatic Foliage of Wormwood Turns Silver to Green

    Artemisia absinthium

    A useful herb for larger containers, but do not feed excessively as the aromatic foliage will turn from silver to green. Wormwood is a natural insect repellent, but it needs some winter protection. This is a herb to avoid if you suffer from hayfever.
    Height: 36 inches
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained sun
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Tarragon Called King of Herbs for Its Usefulness

    Artemisia dracunculus

    Tarragon is an essential culinary aromatic herb with a delicate aniseed flavor for which Russian tarragon is no substitute. It is easy to grow and propagate from root cuttings in spring, but needs a warm, dry, sheltered spot to overwinter happily.
    Height: 4 feet
    Spread: 12 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • White Mugwort Bears Mass of White Aromatic Blooms

    Artemisia lactiflora

    A tall but compact, clump-forming, airy herb with copious plumes of tiny off-white flowers that dry and keep well. A traditional Chinese herb to aid liver function, white mugwort also provides useful border structure if left standing during the winter.
    Height: 5 feet
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun
    Award-winning plant

  • Western Mugwort Makes Dramatic Statement in Garden

    Artemisia ludoviciana

    An important aromatic and antiseptic herb in native North American medicine, the light brownish flowers of Western mugwort are bourne in panicles in late summer and the leaves act as a good deodorant in shoes. It thrives in sandy soil.
    Height: 4 feet
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Roman Wormwood used to Flavor Liquors

    Artemisia pontica

    Although this herb has finely cut, silvery-green leaves it is still a drab, dull-looking medicinal herb with similar properties to A. absinthium. This species has other useful properties, however, as a flavoring for wines, cordials and vermouth.
    Height: 16-32 inches
    Spread: Indefinite
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Snakeroot Thrives In a Woodland Garden

    Asarum canadense

    Thriving in a woodland garden, the rhizomes of this evergreen herb are an edible ginger substitute, but its leaves are poisonous. Snake root was widely employed as a medicinal herb by native North American tribes for treating many ailments.
    Height: 3 inches
    Spread: 12 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Partial or dappled shade, full shade

  • Asarabacca is a Creeping Evergreen Perennial

    Asarum europaeum

    With the unusual common name of asarabacca, historically, this herb was useful medicinally, but it is now rarely used. Good as a ground cover plant for the woodland garden, all parts are poisonous when fresh. The leaves do, however, make a vivid green dye.
    Height: 3 inches
    Spread: 12 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Partial or dappled shade, full shade
    Award-winning plant

  • Borage is Airy Plant with Unique Cucumber Taste

    Borago officinalis

    This vividly blue (or white) flowered annual is easy to grow from seed in spring and early summer. The leaves of borage have a delicate, cucumber flavor and the flowers are lovely in drinks and salads. It hates being transplanted, but sets seed freely.
    Height: 24 inches
    Spread: 18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Calamint is Great for a Scented Garden

    Calamintha nepeta

    Ideal for poor, limey, well-drained soil, this aromatic herb is a must for a bee or butterfly garden. The young leaves are good in a salad and make a fine minty tea. It is tricky to grow from seed but easy from divisions or cuttings.
    Height: 18 inches
    Spread: 20-30 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Calendula Grown as Ornamental and Medicinal Plant

    Calendula officinalis

    An easy-to-grow annual with many herbal attributes including antiseptic and fungicidal properties. The young leaves of calendula are edible when fresh and the flower petals make a good dye for rice dishes as well as an interesting tea.
    Height: 12-28 inches
    Spread: 12-18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Red Chili Peppers Add Zest to Flavorful Dishes

    Capsicum annuum

    Chili peppers are very variable in shape, color, and strength, so always proceed with some caution when tasting. As a herb, they are used as a food preservative and as a gastrointestinal detoxicant. Very ornamental when in fruit or flower.
    Height: 5 feet
    Spread: 20 inches
    Hardiness: Plants that need protection from frost over winter
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Caraway has Long Traditional Medicinal History

    Carum carvi

    Not particularly ornamental, caraway is commercially grown on a large scale for its seed, but the root can be cooked as a vegetable and its leaves eaten in salads. Sow seed in the fall when fresh and grow the herb as a biennial.
    Height: 24 inches
    Spread: 12 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Red Valerian Flowers Freely for Weeks

    Centranthus ruber

    Red valerian is an upright perennial that flowers freely for many weeks from late spring to midsummer, attracting bees and butterflies. It prefers chalky or sandy soils and often seeds itself in wall crevices. The edible leaves have culinary uses.
    Height: 3 feet
    Spread: 3 feet
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Chamaemelum nobile

    The sweet-smelling foliage of lawn chamomile forms a short-lived mat, but the flowers make a classic herbal tea. It is hard work as a lawn, but it looks good in a pot. Trim regularly to prevent it from becoming straggly and having dry, surplus flowers.
    Height: 12 inches
    Spread: 18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • English Chamomile Bares Pretty Daisy Like Blossoms

    Chamaemelum nobile \"Treneague\"

    This non-flowering cultivar of lawn chamomile is easy to grow from offsets, which root very easily — most shoots have some aerial roots. It is easiest to maintain as a small lawn, but it is not drought tolerant, so keep young plants moist in summer.
    Height: 4 inches
    Spread: 18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Good King Henry has Many Culinary Purposes

    Chenopodium bonus-henricus

    It has insignificant greenish-yellow flowers, but this herb is easy to grow from seed in spring for harvesting the following year. The leaves are good in stuffings and soups, while the young flower spikes are tender and a good asparagus substitute.
    Height: 32 inches
    Spread: Indefinite
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Chicory is Best Known as Substitute for Coffee

    Cichorium intybus

    This herb is a versatile salad plant with the leaves standing well into autumn and early winter. Stunning blue flowers are produced throughout summer. Medicinally it can be used for gout and the roots roasted as a superb coffee substitute.
    Height: 4 feet
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Coriander is Easily Grown Edible Plant

    Coriandrum sativum

    The whole of this easy-to-grow aromatic plant is edible. Coriander is ideally sown directly in the soil, and if grown in pots, plant out before the taproot has grown out of the rootball — any disturbance will cause the plant to run to seed prematurely.
    Height: 30 inches
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Sea Kale Makes Ornamental Presence in Garden

    Crambe maritima

    Rich in vitamin C, sea kale is easy to grow from fresh seed sown in the fall and planted out in large pots or in open ground the following year. If the temperature is likely to fall below 34 degrees F, protect the crown with a thick, dry mulch over winter.
    Height: 30 inches
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun
    Award-winning plant

  • Crocus are Popular Early Spring Bloomers

    Crocus sativus

    Flowering in winter, crocus styles are commonly used as an exotic food flavoring (saffron) and coloring, but 4,000 stigmas are needed to yield just 1 ounce of saffron. In climates with cloudier, wetter summers, the bulb will not flower.
    Height: 2 inches
    Spread: 2 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Cardoon is Close Relative of the Artichoke

    Cynara cardunculus

    Medicinal uses for cardoons include liver regeneration and diabetes, but they are primarily grown for their blanched leaves, leaf ribs and stalks. They can be grown from seed, but for reliable cropping, divisions from selected plants is preferable.
    Height: 5 feet
    Spread: 4 feet
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun
    Award-winning plant

  • Purple Cornflower Used in Modern Herbal Medicine

    Echinacea purpurea

    Echinacea is easy to grow from seed in spring and to propagate from division in late fall. The flowers and dried roots from older plants are extensively used in modern herbal medicine — in the past, they were also used as a snakebite antidote.
    Height: 5 feet
    Spread: 18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Giant Fennel Attracts Insects, Beetles and Bees

    Ferula communis

    This enormous, highly effective aromatic herb is best grown at the back of a border as a feature plant. It is preferable to remove flowerheads to prevent seed setting as it often dies after flowering. Once established, plants dislike disturbance.
    Height: 6-10 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

  • Meadowsweet has Almond Scented Flowers

    Filipendula ulmaria

    All parts of meadowseet are traditionally used for an acidic stomach, and it is easily grown in the garden as well as the wild flower meadow. The almond-scented flowers add flavor to wines and non-alcoholic herbal punches.
    Height: 24-36 inches
    Spread: 24 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Dropwort Makes Very Good Bee Plant

    Filipendula vulgaris

    With larger flowers than F. ulmaria, this is a very good bee plant and is said to be resistant to browsing by deer. Thriving on chalk soils, it dislikes dry acid sites. Dropwort is easy to propagate by dividing congested clumps in late fall.
    Height: 24 inches
    Spread: 18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Bulb,Stalk and Leaves of Fennel are All Edible

    Foeniculum vulgare

    Fennel is a staple herb for both the ornamental and culinary garden. For a delicate, aniseed flavor, use green fennel foliage with fatty meat dishes, fish and in salads. It will tolerate poor conditions, but will really show off if treated well.
    Height: 6 feet
    Spread: 18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Sweet Fennel Grown Primarily for Seeds and Leaves

    Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce

    While the seeds and feathery leaves can be used as a herb, this species of fennel is grown as a single-stemmed annual for its bulbous base, which can be roasted whole or grated into salads. A tea made from the seeds will help digestion.
    Height: 6 feet
    Spread: 18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Bronze Fennel Adds Airy Background to Garden

    Foeniculum vulgare \"Purpureum\"

    The striking bronze feathery leaves of this cultivar can be used as for Foeniculum vulgare. Take care not to grow this herb near dill or any other species of fennel as cross pollination of these prolific seed producers will most likely occur.
    Height: 6 feet
    Spread: 18 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Sweet Woodruff is Shade Gardeners Delight

    Galium odoratum

    Sweet woodruff is a very useful aromatic herb for underplanting dry, shady areas. The leaves and flowers give up their best aromas when dried and added to potpourris. Fresh flowers are good in salads and the leaves make a tea to aid indigestion.
    Height: 18 inches
    Spread: Indefinite
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Witch Hazel is Must Have Shrub for Winter Garden

    Hamamelis virginiana

    The autumnal flowers of Virginian witch hazel have a lovely sweet aroma, but it is the bark that is used to produce medicinal remedies for gastric problems and internal bleeding as well as witch hazel drops for eye and skin treatments.
    Height: 12 feet
    Spread: 12 feet
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial or dappled shade

  • Pennyroyal is Strongly Pungent and Aromatic

    Hedeoma pulegioides syn. Mentha pulegioides

    A strongly pungent and aromatic annual, use this herb in moderation for flavoring and as a mint tea. It is commercially used to produce insect repellent and the leaves may repel insects if rubbed on the skin.
    Height: 12 inches
    Spread: 6 inches
    Hardiness: Fully hardy plants
    Soil Preference: Well-drained soil
    Sun or Shade: Full sun

  • Curry Plant Attracts Beneficial Insects to Blooms

    Helichrysum italicum

    On warm days, this striking silver-foliaged plant exudes a strong curry scent, but is little use as flavoring except perhaps as a garnish on steamed rice. It is easy to propagate from semi-ripe cuttings in the fall and makes a good edging plant.
    Height: 24 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

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Herbs

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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