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Tarragon, tarragon or tarragon wormwood is a herbaceous strong-smelling bush with an erect stem and strap-like elongated leaves, which belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is considered the most lemonade spice. It is endowed with a pleasant, not heavy aroma, a varied vitamin complex, therefore it is very popular among culinary specialists, has found application in folk medicine and is excellent as a garden crop.

Description of tarragon

The plant has an even strong stem, narrow leaves, slightly narrowed towards the edge. The upper edge of the leaf is solid, and the lower edge is slightly jagged.
The length of the leaf is no more than 4 cm, the width is from 0.3 cm to 0.7 cm. The color is usually dark green. The smell is somewhat reminiscent of anise and, although it belongs to wormwood, is endowed with a delicate aftertaste and does not taste bitter at all. By the end of summer, the culture forms small flowers, collected in narrow inflorescences in the form of panicles, painted in a pale yellow color. In October, in place of the inflorescences, miniature oval brown seeds are formed.


Several types of tarragon are cultivated, Russian, French and Polish. French herb has thin emerald leaves and a tart peculiar aroma. The Russian version of the spice is lighter in color and devoid of astringency, it is much easier to cultivate, but the French one has a more pronounced taste.

English botanist John. Gerard, in his scientific work "Herbaria", calls the plant "The dragon herb" or "Dracunculus hortensis" - "little garden dragon", he describes it as a plant with long fibrous and creeping roots, twisted into a ball, growing extensively underground.

Where does tarragon grow?

The range of tarragon in nature extends to North America, Mexico, East and Center of Asia, Siberia and the East of Europe, where it can be found in forest forests, meadows and forest-steppe edges. The culture grows in the forests and steppes of Ukraine, sprouting in gullies, along river banks and on wastelands.
Tarragon grass, as a cultivated species, grows in Russia, France, USA, Hungary and Holland, planted in a fat fertile land can grow up to one and a half meters.


Plant history

The earliest written descriptions of the culture were found in the records of the Arab healer and gardener Ibn Baytar, they date from the 8th century. They mention the virtues of culture for medicinal purposes and as an additive to refreshing drinks.

In Latin, the word tarragon - "Artemisia dracunculus", can be interpreted in many ways. "Draco" translates as "already", and most of the French encyclopedias interpret the plant as "grass already". In addition, the roots, tangled like serpentine, look like snakes. The first part of the word refers to the name of Artemis - the Greek goddess, patroness of wildlife and hunting.

In Europe, namely in Spain, thanks to the Moors, the herb came under the name "tarragona", having transformed, over time, into today's French version - "estragon", and the English "tarragon".

Spice tarragon

Young stems, shoots and foliage, fresh or dried, act as a spice. Tarragon herb is added to dishes, and the juice is used to enhance the taste of drinks.

The spice has gained great popularity in Europe, Asia, the Caucasus and North America.

It is one of the most commonly used herbs in France and has expanded beyond home cooking. Young chickens and poached eggs are served with her in the most expensive restaurants. Tarragon herb is an ingredient in a delicate mustard, which, in addition to it, includes seeds and vinegar from champagne. It is a staple in the traditional BĂ©arnaise sauce.


The widely used French collection - "Fine herbes", if translated literally - "thin herbs", also contains tarragon. This aromatic spice keeps its tart smell exclusively fresh, for this reason it is very rarely cooked. Tarragon goes well with salads, omelets, fish, poultry and cold sauces.