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Growing and Using Less Common Herbs

Expand your garden’s flavor, fragrance and beauty with these lesser-used herbs.

Enjoy the attractive cucumber-flavored leaves of salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) in salads, on sandwiches, and in dips. Or add a refreshing hint of cucumber to lemonade and sparkling water.

Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) has a similar flavor that is stronger, less bitter and less minty than Greek oregano. It’s a common ingredient in Southwestern and Mexican recipes and chili powders.

Mexican tarragon (Tagetes lucida) leaves smell a bit like root beer or anise and have an intense tarragon-like flavor. Use dried leaves for tea and fresh leaves in salads, soups, meat dishes and desserts.

Enjoy the fragrance and minty flavor of Indian mint (Satureja douglasii) just as you would other mints.

The aromatic leaves of patchouli (Pogostemon cabin) are used in fragrances, potpourris to cover up musty smells and as a moth repellent for linens and wools.

A bit more information: Salad burnet leaves do not dry well.  Try freezing them for use in hot dishes or use them to flavor butter and vinegar. The perennial herb is hardy in zones 4 to 8 and spreads by seeds and underground rhizomes.

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