Russian Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculoides Pursch). Similar to French tarragon, but producing a more vigorous plant. Russian Tarragon produces branching stems of lance-shaped, aromatic foliage. This perennial with long, thin leaves is native to Central Asia (mainly Siberia) and can reach a height of 40 to 150 cm.
Sometimes called Wild Tarragon is a member of the lettuce family and is closely related to anise, and like anise has a somewhat licorice-like taste. Russian Tarragon has lighter green leaves than French Tarragon.
The flavour of Russian Tarragon may not be so pronounced as its French counterpart but is it is a much more hardy plant that prefers poor soils and can cope with a bit of neglect. It produces lots of leaves, which can be used for a milder flavour. The plant divides easily and can be grown easily from seed.
Russian Tarragon Culinary Uses
- The leaves are used raw or cooked in fish, chicken and potato dishes.
- Seed is used raw or cooked.
- In French cooking, it is usually paired with chives and becomes a fine herbes mix.
- This highly prized herb is blended into Hollandaise, Tartar and Béarnaise Sauce.
- A few leaves shredded into scrambled egg raise this simple dish to a new level.
Russian Tarragon Medicinal Benefits
Tarragon is used to treat digestion problems, poor appetite, water retention, and toothache; to start menstruation; and to promote sleep.
Growing Russian Tarragon
- Start seedlings indoors before the last frost in your area.
- Transplant seedlings outdoors when the weather warms, spacing them 1 1/2 to 2 feet apart.
- Sow the Russian Tarragon Seeds 12mm deep and make sure that the compost remains moist but not drenched.
- Germination is in 7 – 10 days.
- When the seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be planted out or potted on.
- Transplant the plants outdoors once established, after the last frost date. Space 20cm between each plant.
- Tarragon is one herb that tends to do better in the ground than in pots. When planting in the ground, choose a sunny well-drained location.
- Plants benefit from a good fertilising at the start of the growing season.
- Regular using and cutting of plants early in the season develops a desirable compact growth habit.
- Tarragon’s roots will tightly intertwine and it can choke itself out if not divided every one to two years.
- In the winter cut plants down to the ground to induce fresh growth.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.