Herbs

N-Z

  The herbs listed below are priced for our 1 qt.  (4½") or 3½" pots.  Some of these varieties are available at our garden center in larger sizes.

Nashia inaguensis

Moujean Tea

A Bahamian native plant, used to add vanilla flavors to teas.

$9.95
Neat plant with tiny, shiny, scented leaves and small white flowers.  Makes an excellent bonsai subject.   Culinary:

Leaves are used in tea infusions.

 

Nepta cataria

Catnip, Catmint

‘Nepta’ may be derived from the Roman town of Nepeti, where catnip was cultivated. It was highly valued as a seasoning and medicinal herb, and the mildly hallucinogenic dried leaves were smoked to relieve the pressures of life. Attracts bees, and cats will rub themselves against the leaves in a state of utter bliss.

$ 3.95
Pungent, hairy perennial with erect branched stems and gray-green, ovate toothed leaves. White, purple-spotted, tubular flowers are borne in whorls from summer to fall.

Culinary:

Leaves are infused for a mint-like tea and may be added to sauces and stews. Young shoots can be added to salads.

Medicinal:

Contains vitamin C. Internally for fevers, colds, restlessness, upset stomachs and mild sedative. Externally for bruises, scalp irritations.

Plant in part shade, in moist, well-drained soil. Plant seeds in spring or fall. Take cuttings in summer. Divide plants in spring or fall.

Ocimum basilicum

Sweet Basil

Thought to be introduced to Europe from India where O. sanctum was sacred to Vishnu and Krishna, and oaths were sworn in court upon it. Basil was said to be found growing around the tomb of Christ after his resurrection and, in some Greek Orthodox churches, pots of basil are placed on the altar. In Haiti, it belongs to the love goddess Erzulie, as a powerful protector. In Mexico it is sometimes found in pockets to magnetize money and to attract a lover’s roving eye.

$ 3.95
Very aromatic, bushy annual with branching stems that bear tender, light-green leaves that are slightly toothed. Clusters of 2-lipped white flowers appear in summer.

Culinary:

Leaves are used with tomatoes, pasta sauces, vegetable dishes, soups.

Medicinal:

Internally for stomach upsets, cramps, migraine, insomnia, depression. Externally for acne, insect stings, snake bites.

Plant in rich, well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered area. Sow seeds indoors in spring.
b. 'African Blue' $ 3.95
b. 'Black Opal'

Dark Leaf Basil

$ 3.95
b. 'Spicy Globe'

Bush Basil

$ 3.95
b. 'Siam Queen'

Thai Basil

$ 3.95
b. 'Pesto Perpetua'

Variegated Basil

A delicious, strong flavored basil which does not flower.

$ 4.95

Origanum marjorana

Sweet Marjoram

Getting its name from ‘oro ganos’ meaning ‘joy of the mountain’ from growing on Greek hillsides, it was repudiated to bring joy and comfort. Newly weds wore crowns of marjoram and, if it grew on a tomb, souls would find happiness and peace. In England, a young girl would sleep on a bed of marjoram, marigold, thyme and wormwood, on St Luke’s Day, to dream of her future husband.

$ 3.95
Spicy aromatic annual, with branching stems. Round leaves are gray and downy. From late summer, heads of tiny pinkish flowers emerge followed by nutlets.

Culinary:

Leaves and flowers are popular in Italian and Greek dishes: soups, tomato sauces, pasta, oil and vinegar flavoring.

Plant late spring in rich, well-drained soil, in a sunny sheltered spot. Sow seeds in spring indoors or in a cold frame. Medicinal:

Internally for bronchitis, insomnia, headaches, stomach upsets, cramps. Externally arthritis, stiff and painful joints, sprains.

m. 'Variegata'

Variegated Marjoram

$ 3.95

O. prismaticum

Greek Oregano

$ 3.95

O. rotundiflorum 'Kent's Beauty'

Kent's Dittany

$ 4.95

Origanum vulgare 'Hot & Spicy'

Italian Oregano, Wild Marjoram

Wild marjoram was gathered by the ancient Greeks for poultices and applied to sores, aching muscles and swollen joints. This herb contains the antiseptic thymol, and also has anti-inflammatory properties. It was, in the Middle Ages, a popular strewing herb, sewn into sachets and used to scent washing water.

$ 3.95
Aromatic perennial, bushy, with woody stems bearing grayish-green paired leaves. From summer to fall, 2-lipped, pinkish purple flowers bloom in short spikes. Many hybrids have exist.

Culinary:

Important herb in Italian, Greek, and Mexican cooking, often used dried rather than fresh. Use in pizzas, spaghetti sauce, dishes with tomatoes, eggplant, beans.

Best if grown in part shade, with protection from the afternoon sun. Soil can be well-drained but the richer the soil, the stronger the flavor. Sow seeds or divide in spring. Medicinal:

Internally for colds, influenza, stomach upsets. Externally for bronchitis, asthma, and muscular pains

Pelargonium species

Scented Geranium

Most pelargoniums originate from the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, and although they were introduced to Britain in 1632, they remained relatively unknown until 1847, when the French perfume industry realized their aromatic potential.  Uses vary from variety to variety, ranging from medicinal applications to cosmetic and even culinary applications.

$ 4.95
Grow in part to full sun, moist but well-drained soil. There are many varieties, with different scents and appearances. Most flower in the late spring to summer.

Propagation can easily made from tip cuttings in spring or summer.

 

Depending on variety, most have aromatic uses such as perfumes and potpourris. Some have culinary uses and may be used in teas or as flavorings.

Certain varieties have medicinal uses.

 

P. citrosum 'Citronella'

Citronella Scented

Can be rubbed on exposed skin to repel mosquitos.  Leaves can be infused to make tea and can be used fresh to flavor desserts, punch, and vinegar.

$ 4.95

P. crispum

Lemon Scented

Leaves can be infused to make tea and used to give a lemon flavor to sauces, sorbets, ice cream, fruit punches, and vinegar.

$ 4.95

P. 'Fair Ellen'

An aromatic herb with a balsam-like scent. Grown as an ornamental.

$ 4.95

P. 'Fragans'

Nutmeg Scented

Mainly grown as an aromatic ornamental.  Medicinally the leaves can be rubbed on aching feet and legs.

$ 4.95

P. 'Lady Plymouth'

An aromatic variety with a minty rose-lemon aroma.  Dried leaves are good for potpourris. Oils can be used in perfumes.

$ 4.95

P. odoratissimum

Apple Scented

An aromatic herb with a fruity scent. Ir has astringent, tonic, and antiseptic effects, controls bleeding, promotes healing and repels insects. It can be infused in tea and used as aflavoring.

 

$ 4.95

P. tormentosum

Peppermint Scented

Fresh leaves can be infused in tea, added to punches and jellies.  Medically it can be used as a poultice for bruises and sprains.

$ 4.95

Perilla frutescens ‘Atropurpurea’

Beefsteak Plant

The volatile oil in the leaves of this herb contains perilladehyde, which is 2000 times sweeter than sugar, and 8 times sweeter than saccharin. It has been used medicinally in China since 500 AD.

$ 3.95
Bushy annual with deeply cut, crinkled, bronze-purple leaves. Small light pink flowers appear in summer.

Culinary:

Widely used in Asian cuisine. Fresh or pickled leaves and seeds give flavor to Japanese raw fish, bean curd, tempura.

Grow in well-drained soil in sun or part shade, doing best in moist, rich conditions. Sow seeds in spring. Does self-seed. Medicinal:

Internally for colds, chills, nausea, food poisoning, allergic reactions (particularly from seafood). Seeds for constipation. Stems a Chinese remedy for morning sickness.

Petroselinum crispum

Curly-leafed Parsley

To the ancient Greeks, this herb was honored as a ‘plant of the dead’, and it was commonly strewn over corpses and made into wreaths for decorating tombs. Later it appeared on Roman banquet tables, both for its flavor and breath-freshening properties. Parsley is rich in vitamins A and C, and is considered an antioxidant.

$ 3.95
Familiar biennial with strong taproot and branching stems. Bright green leaves are tightly curled. Small yellow flowers appear in summer.

Culinary:

Leaves are used to garnish, flavor sauces, butter, dressings, stuffings, and savory dishes.

Grow in rich, moist soil in part sun to sun. Soak seeds in water before sowing to speed germination. Medicinal:

Internally for anemia, kidney stones, colic, anorexia, arthritis, rheumatism.

c. neoplitanum

Italian Parsley

$ 3.95

Plectranthus amboinicus

Mexican or Cuban Oregano, Indian Borage

Although this herb is of Asian origin, it is widely used in Cuba, Mexico and the West Indies as a food flavoring.

$ 4.95
Strong citrus, oregano smelling tender perennial with thick, succulent stems and crinkly, light green fleshy leaves. In summer, small

lilac flowers appear. Bring indoors for winter.

Culinary:

Leaves are infused as tea, and added to beans, salads, and strong smelling meat and fish, or cooked as tempura.

Grow in light, rich, well-drained soil in part sun. Propagate from stem cuttings or divisions in spring. Medicinal:

Internally for bronchitis, asthma. Externally for headache, sores, burns, and scorpion stings.

P. 'Cerveza n' Lime'

Variegated Cuban Oregano

$ 4.95

Pogostemon patchouli

Patchouli

In the East, patchouli oil is thought to prevent the spread of infection and is widely used for this purpose. Western applications of the oil include toiletries, cosmetics, breath fresheners, insecticides and disinfectants.

$ 3.95
Aromatic, hairy perennial with ovate, long, green leaves. White flowers, marked with violet are

produced in spikes in summer. Not winter hardy here.

Culinary:  None

Aromatic: Leaves are added to potpourris. Oils are used in perfume.

Grow in rich, moist soil in sun to part shade. Sow seeds in spring or take soft wood cuttings in summer. Medicinal:

Internally for colds, headache, nausea, diarrhea. Externally for halitosis, snakebite, fungal infections, acne, and chapped skin.

Pycnanthemum muticum

Mountain Mint

A Traditional N American seasoning for soups and meats, that can be used as a mint substitute. The Fox and Chippewa tribes have been known to use this herb medicinally.  Other cultivars of this herb have been long used by many Indian tribes.

$ 4.95
Tall, hardy. aromatic perennial with lanceolate leaves. White flowers are borne in  summer.

Grow in sun to part shade, in moist but well-drained soil.  Sow seeds or divide in spring.

Culinary:

Leaves, flower tops, and buds give a mint-like flavor to savory dishes.

Medicinal:

Internally for indigestion, colic, chills and fevers.

Ricinus communis 'Carmencita'

Castor Bean

Cultivated for over 6000 years, this plant was a source of oil for lamps and for cosmetics in ancient Egypt. All parts of the plant are poisonous, and the seeds contain ricin, an exceedingly toxic protein. The Greeks regarded the oil as only suitable for external use. In the 1780’s castor oil was listed in medical journals as an effective purgative.

$ 5.95
Upright shrub with dark red stems and long-stalked palmate leaves. Ht 5-6 ft. Treat as annual in colder climates. In summer spiny flower buds appear followed by pods.

Culinary:  None
Grow in a sunny location in rich, well-drained soil. Sow seeds in spring. Medicinal:

Internally for constipation and diarrhea due to food poisoning. Externally for irritating skin and eye conditions.

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary

In ancient Greece, rosemary’s reputation for improving the mind and memory led students to wear garlands around their heads while taking exams. Rosemary featured at weddings as a symbol of fidelity. Anne of Cleves wore a rosemary wreath when she married Henry VIII.

$ 4.95
Very aromatic evergreen shrub with woody branches that are covered with narrow, spiky, dark-green leaves. From spring to summer 2-lipped pale-blue flowers grow in clusters.

Culinary:

Fresh or dried leaves are used to flavor meat, soups, stews, chicken, potatoes. Sprigs can be added to flavor oils or vinegar.

Plant in a sunny location in well-drained soil. Protect from frost in winter. Take cuttings in summer. Medicinal:

Internally for depression, apathy, nervous exhaustion, headaches, migraines. Externally for rheumatism, arthritis, and muscular pain.

o. 'Arp'

$ 4.95

o. 'Blue Lagoon'

$ 4.95

o. 'Salem'

$4.95

o. prostratus 'Haifa'

Trailing Rosemary

 

$4.95

Rumex scutatus

French Sorrel

The leaves of this herb have been used in cooking since the time of ancient Egypt. The Romans served sorrel to balance the richness of their food and, during the Middle Ages, it was the most common kitchen garden herb. French sorrel has a better flavor than the common variety and is used to make sorrel soup.

$ 3.95
Low-growing, mat-forming perennial with long-stalked spear shaped green leaves. In summer, insignificant red-green flowers appear turning brown as fruits ripen.

Culinary:

Fresh young leaves are added to salads, sauces, soups, cream cheese, egg dishes.

Grow in moist, rich soil in part sun. Sow seeds or divide plants in spring. Medicinal:

Seldom used today. Once used for treating scurvy. Avoid large doses of sorrel if you have arthritis, kidney disease, or rheumatism.

Ruta graveolens

Rue, Herb of Grace

Da Vinci and Michelangelo both claimed that, owing to Rue’s metaphysical powers, their eyesight and creative inner vision had been improved. Branches of Rue were used to sprinkle holy water before high mass, and it was an important strewing herb and anti-plague plant. The Greeks used rue as an all-purpose poison antidote. Rue is shown on the heraldic Order of the Thistle. Inspired the design of clubs in playing cards.

$ 3.95
Small semi-evergreen sub shrub with deeply divide leaves. Mustard yellow flowers of four petals are borne in summer.

Culinary:

Flavor is strong and bitter. Can be used with cream cheese, egg, or fish dishes.

Grow in sun in well-drained soil. Sow seeds in summer or take stem cuttings in summer. Medicinal:

Internally for epilepsy, colic, rheumatic pain, menstrual problems. Externally for sore eyes, earaches, skin diseases, rheumatism.

Salvia elegans

Pineapple Sage

$ 3.95

Salvia leucantha

Mexican Bush Sage

$3.95

Salvia officinalis

Garden Sage

Sage was so highly esteemed that by the 10th century it had the reputation of conferring immortality. Once a flourishing trade existed in sage between China and Holland. The Chinese acquired a taste for sage tea and offered green tea to Holland in trade. The Chinese considered sage strengthening to the digestive system. It was not used for cooking until the 16th century.

$ 3.95
Shrubby evergreen perennial with branched stems and wrinkled velvety, gray-green leaves. Spikes of violet flowers appear in summer.

Culinary:

Leaves are made into teas, used to flavor cheese, sausages, stuffings. Medicinal:

Internally for indigestion, liver complaints, night sweats, anxiety, depression. Externally for insect bites, throat, mouth, skin infections

Grow in well-drained soil in sun. Sow seeds in spring or take soft wood cuttings.
o. 'Aurea'

Golden Sage

$ 3.95
o. 'Purpurascens'

Purple Sage

$ 3.95
o. 'Tricolor'

Variegated Sage

$ 3.95

Santolina chamaecyparissus

Santolina, Lavender Cotton

Used to sweeten the air in Mediterranean regions for centuries. Valued as an insect repellant and much used medicinally in Medieval times. Brought to Britain by the French Huguenots in the 16th century, where it became popular in "knot gardens".

$ 4.95
Strongly aromatic hardy herb with gray woolly, linear leaves. Solitary yellow globular flowers appear in summer.

Aromatic:  Add to potpourris.

Medicinal:

Internally for poor digestion, menstrual problems, worms in children, jaundice. Externally for stings, bites, minor wounds, skin inflammation.

Grow in sun to light shade in well-drained, even poor soil. Divide in spring or take cuttings in summer. Sow seeds in spring.

S. virens

Green Santolina

$4.95

Satureja hortensis

Summer Savory

The genus ‘Satureia’ means belonging to satyrs who, according to Greek myth, were lascivious creatures. The association gave rise to its reputation as an aphrodisiac and explains the popularity in cooking. In Europe, summer and winter savory were used before the introduction of spices from the East.

$ 3.95
Annual with a single branched stem and linear, short-stalked, green leaves. Whorls of lilac flowers appear in summer.

Culinary:

Leaves flavor legumes, sausages,stuffings, meat dishes, casseroles and stews.

Medicinal:

Internally for nausea, colic, diarrhea, bronchial congestion, sore throat. Externally for sore throat and insect stings.

Grow in sun in well-drained light soil. Sow seeds in spring. Take cuttings in summer. Pinch to make bushier,

S. montana

Winter Savory

$4.95

Schisandra chinensis

Chinese Magnolia Vine, Five-Flavor Fruit

This plant was first mentioned in Chinese medical texts during the Han dynasty (25-220 AD). Used by both men and women as a tonic for sexual energy, and was popular with women for improving complexion. Its fruit is sweet and sour, the seeds are salty, the peel and pulp are bitter and acrid

$ 9.95
Climbing deciduous shrub with elliptic, pointed leaves. Solitary cream to pink fragrant flowers are borne in late spring followed by red fruits.

Culinary:  None
Grow in rich, well-drained, moist soil in sun to part shade. Sow seeds in fall or layer stems in spring. Medicinal:

Internally for dry cough, asthma, night sweats, palpitations, insomnia, poor memory, hyperacidity, diabetes. Externally for skin irritations and allergic reactions.

Sempervivum tectorum

Hens and Chicks, Houseleek

According to legend, as a gift from Jupiter for protection from lightning, thunder, fire and witchcraft houseleeks were considered a form of home fire insurance.  Romans planted courtyard urns full of them. The emperor Charlemagne decreed that his subjects grow them on their roofs to ward off lightning. One of the oldest first-aid herbs with properties similar to aloe.

$ 4.95
Succulent perennial with rosettes up to 4 in across and thick, fleshy spine-tipped leaves. Clusters of pink star-shaped flowers are borne on stalks in summer. Culinary:  None

Medicinal: Internally for shingles, skin complaints and hemorrhoids. Externally for stings, bites, burns, sunburn, inflamed or itching skin conditions, corns and warts.

Grow in sunny location in well-drained soil. Sow seeds in spring or divide overcrowded clumps. Too much water were rot the plant.

Stevia rebaudiana

Stevia, Sweet Herb

An interesting plant to grow indoors or out, offering health benefits enjoyed by Asian cultures for centuries. It’s leaves are naturally very sweet but low in calories, heat-stable for cooking and it is anti-plaque forming, which reduces tooth decay.  Currently being sold as 100% natural, zero calorie sweetner.

$ 3.95
Bushy tender perennial with bright green, slightly hairy, bright green leaves. Produces small white,

inedible flowers in summer.

Culinary:

Add to teas, fruit salads, and use as a substitute sweetener. May be used fresh or dried. Add ¼ cup fresh leaves to 1 cup of warm water. Let sit for 24 hours. This gives you a liquid extract you refrigerate and use as needed.

Grow in sunny location in moist, well-drained soil. Should be watered from the bottom and protected from frost. Sow seeds in spring or take cuttings in summer Medicinal:

Used to reduce tooth decay.

Tanacetum vulgare

Tansy

The Greeks believed that drinking a potion of Tansy blossoms would secure immortality. Sprigs of this plant would be laid over corpses to prevent decay and keep flies away. In the 16th century, after a Lenten diet of salty fish, young tansy leaves were traditionally added to cakes, Easter puddings, and eaten with fried eggs. The custom of eating bitter herbs may have been in honor of the Passover practice.

$ 3.95
Strongly aromatic rhizomatous perennial with dark green pinnate divided leaves. Clusters of yellow button-like flowers appear in summer.

Culinary:

Leaves are added to a custard called tansy or tansy cakes.

Aromatic:  Add to potpourris

Grow in well-drained, dry soil in sun. Sow seeds in spring or divide plants in spring or fall. Medicinal:

Used in enemas to expell worms in children and topically in treatment of scabies. Not safe internally.

Teucrium chamaedys

Wall Germander, Trailing Germander

This herb was used medicinally by the ancient Greeks for coughs and asthma. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500-1558) was cured of gout by taking decoctions of Germander for 60 days.

$ 4.95
Shrubby perennial with creeping rootstock, upright spreading stems and shiny, ovate leaves that are aromatic when crushed. Small purple-pink 2 lipped tubular flowers appear in summer and fall.

Culinary:

Leaves used to flavor liqueurs, vermouths and tonic wines.

Grow in light, well-drained soil in sun. Sow seeds in spring. Divide plants in spring or fall or take soft stem cuttings in summer. Medicinal:

Internally for loss of appetite, gall bladder and digestive disorders, gout, rheumatism, arthritis, bronchitis. Externally for gum disease, skin eruptions and injuries.

divaricatum

Hedge Germander

Very popular variety for borders in knot gardens.

$ 4.95

Thymus argentus 'Silver Queen'

Silver  Thyme

$4.95

citriodorus 'Doone Valley'

Lemon Thyme

$4.95

praecox 'Coccineus'

Red Flowering Creeping Thyme

$4.95

pseudolanuginosus

Wooly Thyme

$4.95

seraphyllum

Mother of Thyme

$4.95

s. 'Elfin'

Creeping Miniature Thyme

$4.95

Thymus vulgaris

Common Thyme, French Thyme

The name of this herb probably came from the word ‘thymon’ meaning courage. Roman soldiers bathed in thyme water to give them vigor. In the Middle Ages, woman embroidered it on tokens for their knights-errant. A soup recipe from 1663 used thyme and beer to overcome shyness, while Scottish highlanders drank a tea made of wild thyme for strength and courage, and prevent nightmares.

$4.95
Variable perennial low-growing shrub with gray-green leaves and white to pale purple flowers in summer.

Culinary:

Essential ingredient in French cuisine. Used to flavor soups, marinades, stuffings, casseroles, and baked or sautéed vegetables

Medicinal:

Internally for coughs, bronchitis, laryngitis, indigestion. Externally for gum disease, rheumatism, arthritis, and fungal infections.

Aromatherapy uses.

Grow in well-drained soil in sun. Thymes dislike winter wet so drainage is important. Sow seeds in spring. Divide plants in spring or fall. Take cuttings in summer.

Tropaeolum majus

Nasturtium, Indian Cress

This plant was introduced to Europe from Peru in the 16th century by Spanish conquistadors and was first known as ‘Nasturium indicum’ or ‘Indian cress’ because of its pungent, watercress-like flavor. This species is seldom seen now and has been superceded by many cultivars. The leaves have a high content of vitamin C.

$ 3.95
Fast-growing trailing annual with almost circular, green leaves. Yellow to orange spurred, slightly scented flowers appear from early summer.

Culinary:

Seeds can be substituted for horseradish. Pickled flower buds can be eaten as capers. Chopped fresh leaves give a peppery flavor to salads, cream cheese or egg dishes.

Grow in sun to part shade in any well-drained soil. The poorer the soil, the more flowers. Sow seeds in late spring. Medicinal:

Internally for respiratory and urinary infections, scurvy, poor skin and hair. Externally for baldness, minor injuries and skin eruptions.

Valeriana officinales

Valerian, Garden Heliotrope

This herb was used by Hippocrates in the 4th century BC, and it appears in Anglo-Saxon herbals. Used by ancient Arab physicians, it was thought to cure epilepsy. The roots contain ‘valepotriates’ that regulate the nervous system. Valerian tincture was used in WW I to treat shell shock (loss of memory due to prolonged psychological strain).

$ 4.95
Perennial with a short rhizome and pinnate, irregularly divided leaves. Dense clusters of small scented white flowers appear in summer.

Aromatic:  Oil is used in "mossy" perfumes.

Medicinal:

Internally for insomnia, hysteria, anxiety, cramps, indigestion, hypertension.

Grow in moist soil in sun or part shade. Sow seeds in spring or by divisions in spring or fall.

Vinca major

Periwinkle

To the ancient Romans this herb was a symbol of sacrifice and death, and in Medieval England it was associated with executions. Periwinkle has an old reputation as a magical herb and was known as the ‘Sorcerer’s Violet’. It was a common ingredient in love potions including a concoction of mashed plant with earthworms and houseleeks.

$ 4.95
Trailing evergreen perennial sub-shrub with broadly ovate, glossy leaves. Blue propeller-shaped flowers appear in the axils in spring.

Culinary:  None

Medicinal:

Internally for abnormal uterine bleeding, hardening of the arteries. Externally for nosebleeds, sore throats and mouth ulcers.

Grow in moist, well-drained soil in sun or part shade. Divide plants in spring or fall. Take stem cuttings in summer.

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