Herbal Data Sheets

heading herb data sheets

Information on four very popular culinary herbs…

Growing Herbs in Florida

divider article bottom

THE BASILS ~ THE MINTS ~ THE OREGANOS ~ THE THYMES

title theBasils

Ocimum basilicum is a member of the Mint family Lamiaceae.

Easily the most popular herb in sales and use, year after year, the Basils offer a wide variety of color texture, taste and beauty. image noteCard basil

The flavor of Basil ranges from the spicy clove-like flavor of Sweet Basil to many wonderful flavors like lemon, lime and cinnamon. Basils also give us some wonderful bloomers like the pinks of Holy Basil and the blues of African Blue Basil.

While most basils are annuals, many can be kept as perennials if protected from frost.
USES:

Culinary: Basil is widely used as a culinary herb throughout the world. It’s flavor compliments tomatoes and garlic and is used frequently in Italian cooking. Pesto is a very popular sauce made from crushing basil leaves with other ingredients.

Medicinal: Not often thought of as a medicinal herb, but inhaling the vapors is said to help with mental fatigue and the tea can help with digestion.

Some Basic Cultivation Information
  • Classification: Tender, herbaceous Annual, short lived Perennial
  • Hardiness Zone: Only in Frost free locations
  • Light: Full Sun
  • Soil: Sandy, well drained Loam
  • Height: Up to 30 Inches
  • Propagation: Seeds and Cuttings
  • Optimal growing Season: Warm

Sweet Basil ~ Purple Ruffles Basil ~ Thai Basil ~ Lemon Basil ~ Holy Basil

icon to top

divider article bottom
        

title theMints

The Genus Mentha species is of course, a member of the Mint family Lamiaceae, characterized by their square stems.

While there are perhaps 20 or so pure species in this genus, Mints have crossed and recrossed with the result being hundreds of different varieties all with differing subtleties. Peppermint and Spearmint remain the foremost varieties in the genus Mentha. image noteCard mint

Almost all mints benefit from a rich fertile loam and as long as the soil is rich, they can handle both full sun or partial shade. If your soil is sandy however, the summer sun can heat up the sand and cause the shallow rooted mints root damage.

Mints are hardy perennials but occasionally are affected by root rot if the soil is too wet and may often develop leaf “rusts”.

Avoid planting mints in containers with other herbs as they are such prolific growers that their roots will soon fill any container, crowding out all other herbs.

USES:

Culinary: Mints are certainly versatile in cooking and find their way into many recipes from simple teas, fruit punches to flavorings for sauces, vegetables, salads and fruits.

Medicinal: Medicinally, mints are treasured for their essential oils which have been proven to be quite effective for gastrointestinal spasms, stomach upsets and nausea. Combined with Ginger, Peppermint proves to be a great herb mix for a soothing tea to aid in upset stomachs.

Some Basic Cultivation Information
  • Classification: Hardy, herbaceous Perennial
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA Zones 5 – 11
  • Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Soil: Rich, Well drained Loam
  • Height: 12 to 18 Inches
  • Propagation: Seeds, Cuttings and Division
  • Optimal growing Season: Warm/Cool

English Mint ~Peppermint ~Spearmint ~Kentucky Colonel Mint

icon to top

divider article bottom
    

title theOreganos

This genus Origanum vulgare, which means “Joy of the Mountain” also includes Marjoram and is a member of the Mint family Lamiaceae. One of the most traditional herbs for seasoning Italian, French and Mexican dishes. This herb became widely popular after World War II when soldiers returned home to the states after eating many new cuisines in Europe and enjoyed the new flavors. image noteCard oregano

The flavor of Oregano ranges from the very pungent and peppery Greek Oregano to the very sweet and aromatic Marjoram.

USES:

Culinary: Oregano is widely used as a culinary herb throughout the world. It’s flavor is familiar in many Tomato Sauces, Italian dishes such as Pizza, Lasagna, Spaghetti, and is also a staple in many Spanish dishes and seasoning mixes.

As a tea, Oregano can provide relief from coughs, headaches and menstrual pains.

Medicinal: Used as a stimulant, antiseptic and expectorant among others, Oregano is effective in treating coughs, cold and flu symptoms, relieving muscle pains and strains as well as inflamation in the mouth. Marjoram is effective in soothing tension headaches.

Some Basic Cultivation Information
  • Classification: Hardy, herbaceous Perennials
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA Zones 5 – 10
  • Light: Full Sun
  • Soil: Sandy, well drained Loam
  • Height: 12 to 18 Inches
  • Propagation: Seeds ( hard to find “true” seed ), Cuttings and Division
  • Optimal growing Season: Warm

Greek Oregano ~ Italian Oregano ~ Cuban Oregano ~ Marjoram

icon to top

divider article bottom
    

title theThymes

Thymus species are members of the Mint family Lamiaceae. image noteCard thyme

Like many herbs, there are numerous species in this genus, well over 350, ranging from the sweet smells of Germain Winter Thyme to the spicy smell of Caraway Thyme.

Thymes are hardy perennials, most are trailing to slightly upright with blooms from white to magenta.

Most problems people encounter growing Thyme is from soil that remains too wet. Thyme benefits from a well drained soil with a neutral PH and plenty of sunlight. Thyme also responds well to a healthy pruning in early Spring.

USES:

Culinary: Thyme is a great cooking herb and a main ingredient in Fines Herbes and Bouquet Garni. It is used to season many hearty recipes and also lends it’s flavor to soups and sauces. Thyme also goes well with Seafood and Salad dressings.

Medicinal: Thyme oil is antibacterial and anti fungal. It has a high content of volatile oil which makes it good for digestion problems. Thyme has also been proven to be excellent in treating coughs and lung disorders.

Some Basic Cultivation Information
  • Classification: Hardy Perennial
  • Hardiness Zone: USDA Zones 6 – 11
  • Light: Full Sun
  • Soil: Sandy, well drained Loam
  • Height: Up to 16 Inches
  • Propagation: Seeds, Cuttings and Division
  • Optimal growing Season: Warm, Hot and Cool

German Winter Thyme ~ Caraway Thyme ~ Lemon Thyme

icon to top

divider main