Is this tarragon?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by fiddick, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. fiddick

    fiddick Active Member

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    This plant smells like tarragon and looks like it to me as well, but I'm not sure and would like some confirmation before eating it. It was growing in a garden of our recently purchased house that had some other herbs like thyme, chives, and sage -- also leading me to suspect that it is tarragon.

    Thanks for any info people can provide.

    cheers, Larry
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yep, certainly looks right, so if it smells right too, safe to say it is.
     
  3. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Presumably it is Russian Tarragon, not the French species, which is unlikely to survive an Ontario winter.
     
  4. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Begging to differ, French tarragon, Artemisia dranunculus (as opposed to Russian tarragon, Artemisia dranunculoides) is hardy here in zone 3, so I doubt zone 4-5 would be a problem.
     
  5. fiddick

    fiddick Active Member

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    Hi All,

    thanks for the feedback. Given the size of the plant it is probably Russian tarragon. I had a look on Richter's website and they say that French tarragon is hardy down to zone 4, so it would probably grow where I live, but judging by what else the former owners planted around the yard I really doubt they made the effort to get French tarragon, but I think I might.

    cheers, Larry
     
  6. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    If it smells like French tarragon, then it is... and I've just explained that it's hardy down to at least zone 3. Russian tarragon almost completely lacks the smell and flavour of "tarragon".
     
  7. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    That's interesting, abgardeneer, I've grown French tarragon here in zone 8, and it has failed to survive some winters. Perhaps it doesn't like wet winters.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    According to USDA, Artemisia dracunculoides is just a synonym of Artemisia dracunculus, so the differences in flavour will just be related to variation within the species, which need not be related to any variation in hardiness.

    Its native distribution is holarctic but tied to markedly continental climates, so winter cold isn't a problem; its avoidance of oceanic climates suggests Vitog is right in suspecting winter wet to be a cause of demise.
     

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