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Monterey Bay Spice Company

Bulk Herbs & Spices

Tarragon
shopping: one variety
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$9.20 
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per Pound
Quantity:  
$23.00 
Artemisia dracunculus

tarragon

plant overview
one of the fines herbes

Tarragon, more specifically referred to as French tarragon to distinguish it from its Russian or Spanish counterparts, is a member of the daisy family found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The leaf is a popular culinary herb, most notably in French cuisine where it is paired with poultry and fish and used to season sauces, such as the classic Béarnaise. While the fresh leaf is used to flavor beverages and vinegar, the dried herb lends a mild anise-like flavor to fines herbes and other seasoning blends.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Tarragon
01.
A Bit of Botany
a bit of botanical information on tarragon

description
Artemisia dracunculus is a species of perennial herb in the family Asteraceae.

Tarragon grows to heights of 4-5 feet, with slender branched stems. The glossy green leaves are lanceolate with an entire margin, and grow 2–8 cm long and 2–10 mm wide. Tarragon produces flowers in small capitulae 2–4 mm diameter. Each capitulum contains up to 40 yellow or greenish-yellow florets.

Some tarragon plants produce seeds that are generally only sterile, while others produce viable seeds. French tarragon, seldom produces any flowers or seeds. Tarragon has rhizomatous roots and can readily reproduce from these rhizomes.

common names & nomenclature
It is believed that the name tarragon is borrowed from the Persian name for tarragon which is tarkhūn. Others claim it is from the French esdragon, which means “little dragon”.

Also known as:
french tarragon, tarragon, little dragon, mugwort, herbe au dragon


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for tarragon

Artemisia dracunculus is native to the Caspian Sea area and Siberia; widely cultivated in Europe, Asia, and the United States.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting tarragon

climate
Tarragon grows by rivers, streams, and grasslands in full sun.

soil
Tarragon is best grown in organically rich, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils.

growing
Help keep tarragon plants robust by dividing the clumps every 3-4 years, however consider replacing the plantsif plant vitality declines. Since any seed produced is generally sterile, French tarragon should be propagated by cuttings or division.

harvesting
Fresh tarragon leaves may be harvested at any time during the growing season. These leaves may also be dried for later use by cutting the leafy stems in mid-summer and hanging them in bunches in a cool, dry location.

preserving
Store dried tarragon leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of the Story
tarragon history, folklore, literature & more

go for the french
Tarragon comes in two varieties, Russian and French. The former has less oil—and therefore, less flavor—so tarragon almost always implies the French Plant.

Russian tarragon may be grown from seeds, but the more desirable French variety must be propagated from cuttings or root divisions. Divide the roots in spring and plant 1-inch pieces of their tips. Or take cuttings in summer, thin plants to 2-foot spacing.

French tarragon is a perennial with a creeping, serpentine root, and stems that reach 2 feet. Its leaves look like a larger version of rosemary. This herb rarely flowers, and if it does, the fruits are sterile.

Tarragon grows best in rich, well-drained soil under full sun. Make sure the roots do not become waterlogged. If your winter temperatures drop below the teens, mulch well each fall. Divide tarragon roots every few years to retain plants vigor.

Tarragon leaves bruise easily. Harvest them carefully in early summer. Because tarragon loses medicinal value when dried, freeze the fresh herb or preserve it in vinegar.

Tarragon is best known as the main seasoning in bearnaise sauce.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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