Our Herb Varieties
Osage Gardens grows over 20 varieties of culinary herbs. Below is a list of our signature herb varieties. If you are looking for an herb recipes, simply click on an herb below. To browse our huge database of recipes including our herb recipes, click here.
Basil, basil and more basil! We grow more basil than any other herb!
Basil, also known as sweet basil, is one of the most popular, if not the most popular culinary herb. Basil is prominently featured in Italian cuisine and also plays a major role in Southeast Asian cusines of Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam as well as India. Basil is most commonly used in fresh cooking and is also the main ingredient in pesto.
Lemon Basil (Ocimum × citriodorum) is a hybrid between Basil (Ocimum basilicum) and African Basil (Ocimum americanum). It is a herb grown primarily in northeastern Africa and southern Asia, for its strong fragrant lemon scent it is used in cooking, essential oils.Lemon basil has stems that can grow to 3' tall. It has white flowers in late summer to early fall. The leaves are similar to Basil leaves, but tend to be narrower. Seeds form on the plant after flowering and dry on the plant. Lemon basil has a strong lemony smell and flavor very different from those of other varieties, because it contains a chemical called citral. It is widely used in Indonesia, where it is called kemangi and served raw, together with raw cabbage, green beans, and cucumber, as an accompaniment to fried fish or duck. Its flowers, broken up, are a zesty salad condiment.
Several other basils, including some other Ocimum species, are grown in many regions of Asia. Most of the Asian basils have a clove-like flavour that is generally stronger than the Mediterranean basils.
There are three types of basil commonly used in Thai cooking, however this page refers to the most common one, which is known as Horopa in Thai. Thai basil is an Cultivar Group of Basil. It has a stronger taste than many other sweet basils. The herb has small leaves, purple stems and a subtle licorice taste. One cultivar used in the USA is 'Queen of Siam'. It is often confused with Holy basil which has a smaller, slightly hairy leaves and an aroma akin to that of cloves.
Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), sometimes called garden chervil, is a delicate annual herb, usually used to season mild-flavoured foods such as poultry, some seafoods, and young vegetables. It is a constituent of the French herb mixture fines herbes. Some cooks refer to chervil as "gourmet's parsley."
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum), is the smallest species of the onion family Alliaceae, native to Europe, Asia and North America. They are referred to only in the plural, because they grow in clumps rather than as individual plants. Allium schoenoprasum is also the only species of Allium native to both the New and the Old World.
Its species name derives from the Greek words skhoinos (sedge) and prason (onion). Its English name, chive, derives from the French word cive, which was derived from cepa, being the Latin word for onion.
Culinary uses for chives involve shredding its leaves (straws) for use as condiment for fish, potatoes and soups. Because of this, it is a common household herb, frequent in gardens as well as in grocery stores. It also has insect-repelling properties which can be used in gardens to control pests.
Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a short-lived annual herb, native to southwest and central Asia. It is the sole species of the genus Anethum, though classified by some botanists in the related genus Peucedanum as Peucedanum graveolens (L.) C.B.Clarke.
It grows to 3' tall, with slender stems and alternate, finely divided, softly delicate leaves 3-6" long. The ultimate leaf divisions are .25" broad, slightly broader than the similar leaves of Fennel, which are threadlike, less than 1 mm broad, but harder in texture. The flowers are white to yellow, in small umbels 2-9 cm diameter. The seeds are 4-5 mm long and 1 mm thick, and straight to slightly curved with a longitudinally ridged surface.
Dill has long been cultivated as a herb throughout Europe and north Africa as well as in its native Asia. It was used by Egyptian doctors 5000 years ago and traces have been found in Roman ruins in Great Britain. In the Middle Ages it was thought to protect against witchcraft.
Just as flowers are used to decorate a room, some common flowers can also be used to decorate foods. Flowers are not only used for their color, but for texture and flavor too. For hundreds of years, flowers have been consumed. Edible flowers can be used in drinks, jellies, salads, soups, syrups and main dishes. OUR BEST EDIBLE FLOWER IS NASTURTIUMS WITH A HOT SWEET PEPPERY FLAVOR. Roses (Rosa petals) ARE GOOD TOO! PEOPLE HAVE TOLD US THAT ''THEY WON THE COOKING CLUB CONTEST BY DECORATING WITH OUR EDIBLE FLOWERS'' Some common edible flowers are Pansies (Viola x Wittrockiana flowers, petals), Pot Marigolds (Calendula officinalis petals) SNAP DRAGONS & CARNATIONS. WHILE 'EDIBLE' SOME FLOWERS ARE NOT AS 'PALATABLE' they are great as garnishes and add color to any salads, cheese plates, cakes, or any dish.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a bright green, biennial herb that is very common in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. It is used for its leaf in much the same way as coriander (which is also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although it has a milder flavor.
RECIPIES CALL FOR FLAT LEAF PARSLEY SO THAT IS THE ONE WE GROW!
Two forms of parsley are used as herbs: curly leaf and Italian or flat leaf (P. neapolitanum). Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. Many people think flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavor, and this opinion is backed by chemical analysis which finds much higher levels of essential oil in the flat-leaved cultivars. One of the compounds of the essential oil is apiol
Marjoram (Origanum majorana, Lamiaceae) is a cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub with sweet pine and citrus flavors. It is also called Sweet Marjoram or Knotted Marjoram and Majorana hortensis.
The name marjoram (Old French majorane, Medieval Latin majorana) is not connected with the word "major".Marjoram is cultivated for its aromatic leaves, either green or dry, for culinary purposes; the tops are cut as the plants begin to flower.
Just the thought of mint brings up cool, refreshing images.
Mint has numerous applications both in the kitchen and for medicinal purposes, being used all over the world as flavoring as well as key ingredients to foods and drinks. Peppermint sprigs can be added to drinks and fruit dishes as a garnish. It also makes a refreshing tea. Peppermint makes an excellent flavoring for ice cream, chocolates, and other deserts.
Our Oregano came to us from a retired teacher in Glenwood Springs, Mrs. Guadnola. Her father brought it over from Italy, It is the variety Sicily.
Oregano or Pot Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) is a species of Origanum, native to Europe, the Mediterranean region and southern and central Asia. It is a perennial herb, growing to 20-80 cm tall, with opposite leaves 1-4 cm long. The flowers are purple, 3-4 mm long, produced in erect spikes. The name means "Joy of the Mountains"
Oregano is an important culinary herb. It is particularly widely used in Greek and Italian cuisines. It is the leaves that are used in cooking, and the dried herb is often more flavourful than the fresh.
It is a conditio sine qua non in Italian cuisine. It is used in tomato sauces, fried vegetables and grilled meat. Together with basil, it makes up for the character of Italian dishes; see parsley on Italian variants of bouquet garni.
Oregano combines nicely with pickled olives, capers and lovage leaves. Unlike most Italian herbs, oregano works with hot and spicy food, which is popular in southern Italy.
For your turkeys, chickens, winter stews and holiday cooking we offer a Poultry Blend of the following herbs: Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which also includes many other herbs.
The name rosemary has nothing to do with the rose or the name Mary, but derives from the Latin name rosmarinus, which is presumed to mean "dew of the sea", though some think this too may be derived from an earlier name.
Rosemary is often commonly associated with memory and/or remembrance of the past.
The fresh and dried leaves are used frequently in traditional Mediterranean cuisine as a herb. They are extensively used in cooking, and when burned gives off a distinct mustard smell.
Common sage (Salvia officinalis) is a small evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region.
It is much cultivated as a kitchen and medicinal herb, and is also called Garden sage, Kitchen sage, and Dalmatian sage. In southern Europe related species are sometimes cultivated for the same purpose, and may be confused with the common sage. Although this plant was the one originally called by this name sage, a number of related species are now also called by it, and are described in more detail in the article on sage.
The uses and benefits ascribed to it are many and varied, and are often shared with related species. Uses of common sage include:
* teas and infusions, which are considered to have a calming effect, to soothe a sore throat and as a digestive agent
* preservative flavourings, for instance of cheese
* as a cooking flavouring, such as in sage and onion stuffing
The common sorrel, or spinach dock, is a perennial herb, which grows abundantly in meadows in most parts of Europe and is cultivated as a leaf vegetable.
In the Caribbean, sorrel typically refers to Jamaican Red Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa). A popular sorrel beverage is widely consumed which is dark red, and has a sweet, spiced flavor. The deep red coloured annual is also used in making tarts and jellies. The fiber is also used by craftspeople.
Common sorrel is a slender plant about 60 cm high, with juicy stems and leaves. It has whorled spikes of reddish-green flowers, which bloom in June and July. The leaves are oblong, the lower ones being 7 to 15 cm in length, slightly arrow-shaped at the base, with very long petioles. The upper ones are sessile, and frequently become crimson.
As the flowers increase in size, they become a purplish colour. The stamens and pistils are on different plants. The seeds, when ripe, are brown and shining. The perennial roots run deeply into the ground
Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) is a perennial herb in the family Asteraceae related to wormwood. It is native to a wide area of the Northern Hemisphere from easternmost Europe across central and eastern Asia to western North America, and south to northern India and Mexico. The North American populations may however be naturalised from early human introduction.
Tarragon grows to 20-150 cm tall, with slender, branched stems. The leaves are lanceolate, 2-8 cm long and 2-10 mm broad, glossy green, with an entire margin. The flowers are produced in small capitulae 2-4 mm diameter, each capitulum containing up to 40 yellow or greenish-yellow florets.
Tarragon has a spicy flavour reminiscent of anise. French tarragon is the variety generally considered best for the kitchen, but cannot be grown from seed.
Thyme (Thymus) is a genus of about 350 species of aromatic perennial herbs and sub-shrubs to 40 cm tall, in the Family Lamiaceae and native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. A number of species has some chemotypes. The stems tend to be narrow or even wiry; the leaves are evergreen in most species, arranged in opposite pairs, oval, entire, and small, 4-20 mm long. The flowers are in dense terminal heads, with an uneven calyx, with the upper lip three-lobed, and the lower cleft; the corolla is tubular, 4-10 mm long, and white, pink or purple.
Common Thyme or Garden Thyme, T. vulgaris is a commonly used culinary herb. It is a Mediterranean perennial which is best suited to well-drained soils and enjoys full sun.