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ANETHUM graveolens

Image of Anethum graveolens

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Apiaceae

Botanical Name

ANETHUM graveolens

Plant Common Name

Dill

General Description

The fragrant and distinctive smell of dill brings to mind everything from dill pickles to summer salads and gravad lox. Dill is an annual Eurasian field plant that is quite short-lived but very easy to grow. It's a versatile culinary herb; the seeds are used in pickling and lacy leaves can be chopped and used to season salads, vegetables or fish. In the wild, it favors open, disturbed sites and has become naturalized in several countries, including much of North America.

Dill germinates in spring as soon as the soil begins to warm. Soon, upright clusters of finely dissected, bright sea green leaves are produced. These are very fragrant when brushed. The leaves are at their fullest and best for harvest just before plants begin to flower in early to midsummer. The blooms are large, umbrella-like umbels with chartreuse yellow flowers. These are pollinated by insects and heads of flattened, fragrant seeds follow. Shortly after flowering, the plants begin to turn brown and die.

Dill is a full sun plant that thrives in average to fertile soil with good drainage. It grows best with regular water but will tolerate periods of drought. Dill is grown easily from seed and has a tendency to self-sow vigorously if its heads are allowed to litter the ground with seed. The plants are an important food source for black swallowtail butterfly larvae, so it’s a great plant for butterfly gardens. It's also an herb garden essential.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Plant Type

    Herb

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Southern Asia, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Chartreuse

  • Fruit Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Sea Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Sea Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes