JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University
The fragrant leaves of tarragon lend herbal sweetness to vegetables, salads and meats. Native from Europe to western North America, it is a clump-forming, shrubby perennial herb that's sun-loving and quite easy to grow. It is related to wormwood and absinthe and a member of the sunflower family, Asteraceae.
The aromatic, green, strap-like leaves of tarragon appear in spring, when they are at their sweetest. In summer insignificant clusters of yellowish white flowers may be produced. Stems of...
Old fashioned and pretty, borage is an easy-to-grow herb grown for its edible and attractive starry blue flowers that taste like cucumber. The European native germinates in spring and develops into a moderate sized bushy plant with large, distinctly prickly, hairy leaves. Only six weeks after germination, borage bears loose clusters of five-petaled, star-shaped blue flowers with white centers and black stamens. These are a delight to bees.
Sun and fertile garden soil will make this old-fashioned...
The aromatic, strong-tasting seeds of caraway are best known as a flavor in rye bread. This Eurasian herb is a hardy biennial. The aromatic oils in its seeds have a warm, earthy, almost anise-like flavor. If not harvested, the abundant seeds fall to the ground causing new plants to spring forth the following season. Caraway seeds are most popular in northern and eastern European and Russian cooking.
Clumps of feathery foliage are produced by caraway plants in the spring and summer of the first...
James H. Schutte
Long prized in Mexico as an herb and medicinal plant, this weedy annual or short-lived perennial from tropical America is naturalized worldwide from the tropics to the temperate zones. Plants form clumps of erect, waist-high stems with alternate, oval, toothed leaves. Bruised leaves emit a pungent, disagreeable odor. In summer, long spikes of small greenish flowers appear at the stem tips and leaf axils. Tiny greenish single-seeded fruits follow the flowers. Plants readily self-sow.
Carol Cloud Bailey
This annual from the eastern Mediterranean is used as an herb, spice, and medicinal plant. Growing rapidly from a spring sowing, 'Delfino' forms a clump of pungent lobed dill-like leaves (cilantro) that add zest to soups, salads, beans, and other foods. Leaves are ready for harvest seven to eight weeks after sowing. Flat clusters of pinkish-white flowers appear on branching ferny-leaved stems in summer, followed by spherical ribbed fruits. The fragrant fruits (known as coriander seeds) are used ground...
James H. Schutte
(Cilantro, Coriander, Slow Bolt Cilantro)
Cilantro / coriander is an annual or biennial herb native to Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. It is related to and resembles parsley but is often grown for its aromatic seeds which are used as culinary spice in Eastern World cuisine. Interestingly enough, the leaves are used in Latin American cuisine and called cilantro.
Slow-bolt cilantro, is just as its name suggests: that it goes to seed more slowly, allowing more time to harvest an enjoy the leaves.
Cilantro prefers a fertile well...
James H. Schutte
(Lemon Grass, Lemongrass)
Fast-growing and clump-forming, lemongrass has leaf blades rich in fragrant oils that smell lemony when crushed. The bases are used to flavor any number of dishes in Indian and Southeast Asian Cuisine. A Southeast Asian native, this tender perennial grass is evergreen where hardy and fast-growing.
The wide, blue-green blades of lemongrass may be coarse or sharp to the touch, so handle with gloves when harvesting the tender, fragrant bases. The blades rise from bulbous rhizomes that spread...