Herbs

Juniper

Juniper

Juniper is an evergreen tree that grows wild throughout parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. There are many varieties of juniper, but the most common is Juniperus communis, which grows to 10 feet tall and has needle-like leaves and tiny seed cones. The medicinal...

Calendula

Calendula

Calendula Flowers (Calendula officinalis) are cheerful and easy to grow, so invariably find a way into the hearts and gardens of all herb lovers. Usually cultivated as an annual, calendula can be easily be grown as a perennial in warmer climates and will reseed...

California Poppy

California Poppy

Who isn’t cheered and revitalized at seeing the bouncy orange of California’s state flower along roadsides, field-edge and garden? The vibrancy of color alone is food for the soul. Eschscholzia californica is a native annual that often grows like a perennial in...

Chamomile

Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the old favorites in traditional herb gardens and kitchens and is still a popular herbal medicine throughout the world. The name stems from Greek “ground apple” for its lovely apple-like scent. In Spanish the name Manzanilla (“little apple”),...

Mullein

Mullein

Mullein has long been one of my favorite tonic herbs and a special winter into early spring companion. This magnificent plant is like the elephant of the garden with its ears of broad, basal, furry leaves and its flowering trunk of nearly six feet tall. It is a native...

Boneset

Boneset

Boneset herb (Eupatoria perfoliatum) is a perennial native of northeastern America and was commonly used by the Native Americans living there. It likes to ‘keep its feet wet’ by growing in the margins of swamps, marshlands and streams. The leaves are slightly rough...

Plantain

There is a weed that grows on the edges of most parking lots and fields and most of us are so used to tromping on it, that we pay it little heed: plantain, either narrow-leaved (Plantago lanceolata) or broad-leaved (P. major). This common plant, an immigrant from...

Burdock

Burdock

By the end of the growing season, plants have shuffled most of their remaining resources into their roots to store for the winter months. This is the time of year to harvest root-herbs and my all-time favorite is burdock root. The plant's leaves are similar to the...

Saint John’s Wort

Saint John’s Wort

Blooming around the summer solstice is the cheery yellow flower of Saint John's Wort, Hypericum perforatum, a native herb to Europe but naturalized throughout North America where soils are poor. It grows so prolifically in some areas as to be considered a "noxious...

Nettles

Nettles

One of the loveliest herbal treats of the spring and early summer is fresh nettle leaf (Urtica dioica or U.urens), found in abundant quantities in cool, moist places along rivers and streams. Nettle is such a rich food source that if it didn't have a strong protection...

Cleavers

Cleavers

Often, when we need a herb, yet are not yet aware of which one we need - it comes to us. That was how I met my friend Cleavers (Galium aparine) or goose grass. I was living in Britain to attend herbal school and one of my housemates was a big beautiful blond - Barney...

Rosemary

Rosemary

In winter, when many trees stand bare against a grey sky and most herbs in the garden have gone back into the ground - we turn to the evergreens for both spiritual and nutritional sustenance. Herb rosemary, Rosmarianus officinalis, is one of my favorites in any...

Yarrow

Yarrow

Looking out my window into the pre-dawn darkness, I am met by the bright white of yarrow flowers (Achillea millefolium and A. lanulosa) that have finally appeared in my garden. The flower heads are actually a flat-topped cluster of tiny individual white to slight-pink...

Cranberry

Cranberry

Cranberry grows in the cold, northern wetlands of Europe and America. Though the larger American variety (V. macrocarpon) has stolen the culinary show and is most widely available commercially, wild cranberries have been eaten by Arctic peoples for millennia and are...

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