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Herb Files
  Little wonder that herbs have earned a place in American gardens. Freshly harvested herbs have pungent and aromatic qualities that far exceed those of their commercially obtained counterparts - whether fresh or dried. Even after the outdoor growing season is over, you can still enjoy dried herbs in fragrant potpourris and sachets. You can also grow herbs indoors in pots on sunny windowsills, and use them for culinary purposes, either fresh, dried, or frozen. Below is a listing of herbs that perform well in Zone 8


Lemon Balm - (Perennial) Full Sun. 2-3' H x 4-5' W Flower Color: White / Summer - This hardy herb is native to southern Europe. Clusters of small, pale yellow to white flowers in summer. Leaves have a wonderful, fresh lemon-mint fragrance. Use for fresh teas and summer drinks. A traditional European medicinal herb, it has been used to treat all sorts of ailments including insomnia, cramps, headache, and toothache.
Sweet Basil - (Annual) Full Sun. 18-24" H x 12" W. Flower Color: White / Late Spring - The leaves of this herb have a fresh clove-like scent. Excellent for use in salads, with fish, meats, and in sauces.
Purple Ruffles Basil - (Annual) Full Sun. 12-15" H x 12-18" W Flower Color: Purple-Pink / Spring - This dark, red-purple Basil makes a colorful and flavorful garnish. Grow in pots or beds.
Catnip - (Hardy Perennial) Full Sun. 24-36" H x 24-36" W Flower Color: White / Summer - The heart-shaped leaves with toothed edges have a pungent aroma. A tea from the leaves is said to be relaxing and soothing. Leaves are a treat for cats, having an affect on their behavior, making them at first playful, then quite docile.
Chives - (Perennial) Full Sun 10" H x 6-10" W Flower Color: White / Summer - Chives grow in clumps of long, thin, hollow leaves, and have an oniony flavor. Attractive, pompon-like flowers bloom in summer.
Cilantro - (Annual) Full Sun 24" H x 12" W Flower Color: White / Summer - Also known as Coriander, this herb has gained widespread popularity over the years and is used extensively to season many Mexican and Oriental dishes. The broad, lower leaves of this herb are scalloped and the upper foliage is finely cut. Both have a pungent aroma. The leaves, seeds, and roots are used in cooking salsas and curries or as a garnish. Cilantro combines well with onion, sausage, clams, oysters, and potatoes. Whole ground seeds are used in salad dressing, cheese, eggs, and chili sauces.
Dill - (Annual) Full Sun 24-36" H x 12-15" W Flower Color: Yellow / Summer/Fall - Grown for its fine aromatic seeds and feathery green leaves. Tiny yellow-green, flattened flowers bloom in summer. Use fresh or dried. Dill is used in herbal butter and herb vinegars and can be used to flavor fish, lamb, pork, poultry, cheese, cream, eggs, vegetables, avacados, apples, popcorn, salads, soups, sauces, and spreads.
Bronze Fennel - (Perennial) Full Sun 36-48" H x 12-15" W Foliage Color: Bronze - Striking bronze foliage is attractive in the garden or containers. Good for cullinary uses with a soft, nutty, anise-like flavor.
Spanish Lavender - (Perennial) Full Sun 18-24" H x 3-5' W Flower Color: Purple / Spring and Fall - An excellent Lavender for our area. Blooms profusely in the springand in the fall! Very attractive purple flowers. Cut back the flower stems after spring bloom and they will bloom again in fall.
Super Lavender - (Perennial) Full Sun 24-36" H x 24-36" W Flower Color: Light Violet / Mid Summer - A newer introduction, this is a large Lavender with tall violet flower spikes. One of the best Lavenders for high quality essential oil. Drought tolerant.
Lemon Grass - (Annual) Full Sun 5-6' H x 24-30" W - A n aromatic grass native to India and highly prized as a culinary herb for its tangy lemon flavor in sauces, teas, and especially in Thai and Vitnamese cuisine. This herb is increasingly seen being used in cooking shows and is excellent as a tea. Simmer 1 leaf per cup of boiling water for a few minutes, add sugar and cream to suit to taste and serve.
Peppermint - (Perennial) Full Sun 12" H x Spreading Flower Color: White / Summer - An excellent general purpose mint.
Corsican Mint - (Perennial) Full Sun 3" H x 6-12" W Flower Color: Light Purple - This creeping mint has the pungent fragrance of Creme de Menthe and light purple flowers. It is increasingly being used as a groundcover or as a fragrant mass between stepping stones. Use also as a peppermint flavoring in drinks.
The Best Mint - (Perennial) Full Sun 12-18" H x Spreading - One of the better if not the best variety of regular mint. Excellent for mints, jellies, and teas. This popular mint also flavors commercial preperations from toothpaste to chewing gum.
Chocolate Mint - (Perennial) Full Sun 18" H x Spreading - One of the most popular, this mint has bronze leaves that are 'peppermint patty' scented. Excellent for aromatic and culinary purposes.
Old Fashioned Spearmint - (Perennial) Full Sun 18" H x Spreading - Considered by many to be the best of all spearmints. Pungent scent and flavor. Outstanding in mint juleps.
Greek Oregano - (Perennial) Full Sun 18-24" H x 12-18" W - Sometimes referred to as Italian Oregano although incorrectly. This attractive bush variety has tasty, fuzzy leaves which are essential to many pasta dishes and is one of the best culinary Oreganos. Greek Oregano seems to be the variety used most for commercial purposes. If you buy dried Oregano off the store shelf chances are this is the Oregano you are buying.
Hot & Spicy Oregano - (Perennial) Full Sun 18-24" H x 15" W - An excellent culinary Oregano with peppery leaves. Bold flavor is intensified when dried.
Curled Parsley - (Biennial) Full Sun 18-28" H x 18-24" W Flower Color: Yellow / Spring of 2nd Year - This herb has many common culinary uses. The curly, dark green leaves are great for garnishes, flavoring for eggs, meats, sauces, and salads. Recent tests have shown that Parsley is high in Vitamin C.
Italian Parsley - (Biennial) Full Sun 18-24" H x 12-24" W - The flat glossy, dark green leaves of this herb are valued as a garnish. Rich in Vitamin C, use as a seasoning in salads, soups, fish and lamb.
ARP Rosemary - (Perennial) Full Sun 4-5' H x 3-4' W Flower Color: Blue / Winter and Early Spring - The hardiest of Rosemaries. Excellent as a culinary seasoning for meat, fish, poultry, or other game. Grey-green evergreen foliage.
Golden Sage - (Perennial) Full Sun 18" H x 12" W - This variety is characterized by its bright golden variegated leaves which are flavorful and aromatic. They can be used as a seasoning for meat, stuffing, sausage, and cheese.
Purple Sage - (Perennial) Full Sun 18-24" H x 12" W - This handsome herb boasts purple leaves which provide excellent contrast in the border. Use leaves for seasoning meat, stuffing, and sausage. At present, this sage seems to be the most popular of the ornamental sages used today in the South.
Tri-Color Sage - (Perennial) Full Sun 24" H x 18" W - This shrub has colorful variegated leaves of pink, purple, and white. Great for culinary and ornamental purposes.
Mexican Tarragon - (Perennial) Full Sun 24-48" H x 18-24" W Flower Color: Yellow / Fall - This herbaceous or semi-woody herb has licorice flavored leaves. Used in many restaurants. Excellent for container plantings and a delicious tea.
English Thyme - (Pernnial) Full Sun 9-18" H x 12" W Flower Color: Purple or Pink / Summer - This is the most common culinary thyme and features an upright habit. It flavors vinegars, tea, poultry, fish, stuffings, stews, soups, salads, bread, mayonnaise, mushrooms, and broccoli. Leaves scent potpourris and sachets. Also used in wreaths and in floral arrangements.
Variegated Lemon Thyme - (Perennial) Full Sun 6-12" H x 12" W - A charming creeping Thyme with delightfully variegated, lemon-scented leaves. Excellent for culinary uses, fresh or dried. Use with fish, poultry, or tea.




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