Alphabetical Plant Listing

Artemisia dracunculus (French Tarragon)

Tarragon, Biting Dragon, Dragon Plant, Estragon, French Tarragon, True Tarragon


Artemisia dracunculus (French Tarragon) is a woody-based, upright perennial prized for its narrowly lance-shaped, aromatic leaves, 3-4 in. long (7-10 cm). Borne on usually erect stems, they enjoy a delicious pungent anise-like flavor and aroma and are commonly used as a culinary herb in the classic French cuisine. Fresh or dried, the leaves can be used in salad dressings, fines herbes, sauces and mayonnaise. They are also wonderful with cooked dishes such as fish, turkey, chicken, veal and egg dishes. Elongated panicles of small, nodding, pale yellow flowers bloom in late summer. They rarely set seed, particularly in cool climates. French tarragon is cold-hardy and drought tolerant, however, it dislikes high humidity.

There is a closely related species, A. dracunculoides or Russian tarragon, which is quite inferior in flavor.

  • Grows up to 18-24 in. tall (45-60 cm) and 12-18 in. wide (30-45 cm). This plant will slowly spread by creeping rhizomes.
  • Thrives in full sun in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. Avoid overhead watering. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil
  • This aromatic herb deserves a spot in herb gardens or in herb containers along with sage, rosemary, basil or lavender.
  • Generally pest and disease free. Deer and rabbit resistant. 
  • Cut back in spring. Harvest your Tarragon leaves until mid-fall.
  • Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer. Dividing the clumps every 3-4 years will help keep plants robust.
  • Native to temperate Europe and Asia.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 7
Heat Zones 1 – 7
Climate Zones 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Herbs, Perennials
Plant Family Artemisia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 7
Heat Zones 1 – 7
Climate Zones 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Herbs, Perennials
Plant Family Artemisia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Artemisia

Guides with Artemisia

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