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ARTEMISIA dracunculus

Image of Artemisia dracunculus

JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

ARTEMISIA dracunculus

Plant Common Name

French Tarragon

General Description

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 leaves can be harvested anytime during the growing season and have a strong anise-like scent and flavor. French forms flower less frequently and are more flavorful than hardier Russian tarragon.

Plant in full to partial sun and well-drained soil with average to good fertility. Plants may require division every 3-4 years. This marginally attractive herb is suitable for container culture and a must for herb gardens. Most gardeners favor French tarragon, which is easily found at any nursery carrying herbs.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Herb

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    12"-48" / 30.5cm - 121.9cm

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Western United States, Canada, Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia/Siberia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light 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

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No