Tarragon



Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) is a perennial herb related to wormwood in the family Asteraceae. It is also known as dragon's- wort or dragon herb. Artemisia is native to Northern Hemisphere, from easternmost Europe across central and eastern Asia to India, western North America, and south to northern Mexico.

Tarragon, 120-150 cm tall, is a plant with slender branched stems, and leaves that are glossy green with an entire margin, lanceolate-shaped, 2-8 cm long and 2-10 mm wide. The flowers are produced in small capitulae 2-4 mm in diameter, and each capitulae contains up to 40 yellow or greenish-yellow florets. However, French tarragon seldom produces flowers.

Tarragon has scent reminiscent of anise, due to the presence of estragole, a known carcinogen and teratogen in mice.

Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes of French cooking. The other three are Coriander, Chives, and Chervil. Tarragon is suitable to use on chicken, lasagna, fish, and egg dishes. It is one of the main ingredient of Bearnaise sauce. Fresh, and lightly bruised sprigs of tarragon may be steeped in vinegar to impart their flavor.

In Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine, a popular carbonated soft drink called Tarhun is made out of sugary tarragon concentrate and colored bright green.

Tarragon is a useful companion plant, as its scent and taste is disliked by many garden pests. It is also reputed to be a nurse plant, enhancing growth and flavor of companion crops.

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
Author: KENPEI (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.1 Japan)

TarragonTarragon
Author: Stan Shebs (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

TarragonTarragon
Author: Cillas (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Tarragon flowersTarragon flowers
Author: KENPEI (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

TarragonTarragon
Author: Stan Shebs (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

TarragonTarragon
Author: Stan Shebs (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Tarragon essential oilTarragon essential oil
Author: Itineranttrader (public domain)

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