Oregano

Oregano Herb
Oregano Herb

Life Span

  • Perennial

Scientific name

  • Origanum vulgare

Height

  • 18 inches

Spread

  • 12 inches

Description

Oregano Flower
Oregano Flower
  • Oregano is a bushy, spreading, perennial with abundant oval leaves and purple blooms. Be careful to get the correct species. To be sure of avoiding disappointment, buy a plant that you’ve tested by crushing a few leaves and smelling or tasting them beforehand. It should have the distinct aroma of oregano.

Ease of care

  • Easy

How to grow

  • Grow in full sun, in average to sandy and preferably alkaline soil (add lime generously, if the soil is acidic).

Propagation

  • Buy your first healthy plant, then use division, layering, or cuttings to obtain additional ones.

Uses

  • Fresh or dried leaves tomatoes, cheeses, eggs, beef, pork, poultry, she potatoes, sauces; Flowers floral arrangements, Dried branches baths

Preservation

Dry Oregano
Dry Oregano
  • Clip fresh as needed.
  • Harvest at the time of bloom and hang dry or freeze.

Coriander, Cilantro, Chinese Parsley

Is it an herb or a spice?

The coriander plant is both an herb (cilantro leaves) and a spice (coriander seeds).

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is a very fast-growing herb which can be grown just about anywhere. Cilantro is a relative of the carrot family, sometimes called Chinese parsley, or Coriander. Cilantro is the leaves, roots, and stems (eaten as herbs) of the Coriander plant, while the seeds (coriander) are used in cooking as a spice.

Cilantro has a very strong unique odor and is relied on heavily for Latin, Asian, and Caribbean cuisines. Cilantro, also, resembles Parsley in appearance which is not surprising since they are related. Cilantro has been in use a long time in Egypt, India, and China, and later it was introduced to Latin America where it is still used today.

Cilantro can and has been used to mask the scent of rotting meat. Cilantro has two identities since Cilantro is what the plant is referred to in its earliest stages, and when it is fully developed and sets seed, which is the Coriander spice. Cilantro is fast growing grows very quickly but will bolt in hot weather and die  fast also.

Cilantro can easily grow in a pot, or as microgreens. Cilantro is best harvested early and frequently before the onset of bolt or flowers.  Once the bolt or flowers begin, it is best to let it go to seed And harvest the seed for coriander or stock seed for the next planting.

Today, Cilantro can be found in most grocery stores in the United States both as fresh green or as dried herbs. Not everyone likes Cilantro. Generally, people either love Cilantro or hate Cilantro.

Life Span

  • Annual

Scientific Name

  • Coriandrum sativum

Height

  • 24 to 36 inches of inches leaves look

Spread

  • 6 inches

Description

  • The bright green, lacy leaves look very similar to flat-leaved Italian parsley on the lower part of the plant but become more finely fernlike further up. This large annual has a leaf and root flavor that is a cross between sage and a citrus. The seeds, however, are simply citrus like.

Ease of care:

  • Easy

How to grow:

  • Plant in rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Coriander plants are best located where they are protected from the wind since they blow over easily.
Flowering Coriander, Cilantro, Chinese Parsley
Flowering Coriander, Cilantro, Chinese Parsley

Propagation:

  • By seed, once the soil is warm in spring. This service a cool weather loving herb, when the weather turns warm it will Bolt and go to seed

Culinary Uses

Cilantro Herb
Cilantro Herb
  • Fresh or frozen leaves (Cilantro) can be used on potatoes, rice, clams and oysters or chicken. Fresh leaves are frequently used in salsas and on chicken soup.
spice (coriander seeds)
spice (coriander seeds)
  • Seeds (Coriander)  can be used in marinades, cheeses, pickles, mushrooms, stews, curries, chicken, quickbreads, potpourris
  • Fresh roots can be used in salads, relishes

Preservation

  • Harvest only fresh, young leaves and freeze them promptly.
  • Harvest seeds when they have turned brown but are not yet released.
  • Cutoff whole plant and hang-dry inside paper bags to catch seeds.

Related References

Herbs and spices – Bay leaves

Bay Leaf or sweet bay (Laurus nobilis)
Bay Leaf or sweet bay (Laurus nobilis)

Bay leaves add a dimension to a host of soups, sauces, and stews. Bay leaf is, especially, useful in dishes containing chicken, beef, tomato sauces, and stocks.  If you use a Bay leaf, be sure to remove the bay leaves before serving. If you don’t intend to use the leaf whole or in large pieces, then make sure it is a very finely ground when incorporating it into your recipes. If not removed or not finely ground, Bay leaf is tough to chew and detracts from your overall dish quality.

Flavor Characteristics

  • Typically used as whole dry leaves or ground leaves, Bay leaves have a strong flavor. Especially, if whole leaves or torn or crushed.

Usage

  • Bay leaves are used in meat and poultry dishes. Notably, soups pot roast, and stews.
  • Bay leaves are, also, sometimes used in pickles and stuffing for poultry and meat.
  • Frequently, Bay leaves are used as an ingredient in a bouquet garni.
  • Bay leaves are commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking.

What is a “bouquet garni”?

A “bouquet garni” originates from the French school of cooking, and is a bundle of herbs that are added to casseroles, stocks, sauces, and soups.

Traditionally, bouquet garni is composed of parsley (or parsley stalks, which have lots of flavors), a few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf.

The bouquet garni herbs may be bundled into a strip of leek or a piece of celery stalk, or tied in a muslin bag or with string, to keep them together during cooking and allow easy removal before serving.

Perennial – Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Perennial, Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

This herb plant was first used by ancient Greeks over 3,000 years ago. Largely used for medicinal purposes.  Yarrow is also, sometimes, used as an ornamental flower and as a companion plant.  Yarrow has Fern-like, finely divided leaves. Has tiny florets, about 4 inches wide, which depending upon the variety may be white, yellow, cerise, and red.

Hardiness

  • Perennial

Location

  • Full sun

Habit

  • Upright with some side growth
  • About 18 -24 inches’ height and about the same in width.

Use

  • In dried flower arrangements
  • As a compost simulator
  • Companion plant near aromatic herbs to enhance the production of essential oils.

Cautions

  • May cause an allergic reaction if taken internally.

Attracts

  • Butterflies

Requirements

  • Select a site with full sun and very well-drained soil. Yarrow thrives in hot, dry conditions and low soil fertility, but won’t tolerate wet soils.

When to plant

  • Sow seeds in fall or spring

Season

  • Foliage will appear with warm weather and may bloom from spring until the fall frost.

Related References