Unusual Herbs

origanummarjoranavariegatum (300x293)Origanum majorana ‘Variegata’ – Variegated Sweet Marjoram can be a little hard to find and bears pale pink blooms in summer. It is a frost-tender annual herb with creamy-yellow (occasionally pink tinted) variegated green foliage with a mellow oregano flavour. Best grown in part to full sun with sharp drainage. Grows 6 to 12″ high by 18″ wide. Hardy to zone 9.

herbredshiso (300x289)Perilla frutescens var. crispa ‘Aka Shiso’ – Purple Beefsteak Plant or Red Shiso is a traditional Japanese herb whose tasty leaves are used in wraps, tempura and salads. The aromatic foliage is spicier than Green Shiso and it makes a good natural food colouring. It should not be planted outdoors until the soil has warmed first. Grows 12-30″ high by 12-18″ wide. Hardy to zone 10.

lauruscelticqueen (300x296)Laurus nobilis ‘Celtic Queen’ – This cultivar of Bay Laurel or Sweet Bay was selected and introduced by Piroche Plants of Pitt Meadows in 2000. It is a hardier form with pale yellow blooms and deep green foliage that is often used in cooking (a lamb stew essential). Prefers full sun with well-drained soil and shelter from cold winter winds. Grows 6-12’+. Hardy to zone 7.

herbcrypto (300x297)Cryptotaenia japonica ‘Atropurpurea’ – Purple-Leaved Mitsuba or Japanese Parsley is an evergreen perennial which bears light pink flowers in midsummer. The foliage is eaten raw in salads or cooked in soups and stews – although it can prove toxic if too much is eaten (also causes dermatitis in some). Tolerates partial shade rather well. Grows 8-30″ high by 8-12″ wide. Zone 4.

herbaloysia (300x292)Aloysia triphylla (syn. Aloysia citriodora) – Lemon Verbena is a woody shrub with white to pale lilac blooms that is native to Chile and Argentina. The bright green lance-shaped foliage is highly lemon-scented and used in teas, fish dishes and salad dressings. It is frost tender and should be grown in a pot and brought indoors for winter. Grows 2-3’+ high and wide. Hardy to zone 8.

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