A very underappreciated herb
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is the herb we think of as the leafy piece of green garnish on the side of the plate in a fancy restaurant. Usually it gets left on the plate, scraped into the trash (hopefully the compost!) an unsung herbal hero. There was a reason for its appearance on the plate – to refresh a customer’s breath and help digest that tasty meal that had just been consumed. That little bit of garnish has all but disappeared, gone by the wayside mostly due to costs. It was so unappreciated. Why would restaurants continue to spend money on something that was just going in the trash?!
Artemisia conjures a variety of reactions from herbalists, government regulators and indigenous people. Throughout history Artemisia has been known as a powerful medicinal herb, a hallucinogen and even poison. Since there are well over 200 species of Artemisia, all of which have a strong bitter taste and strong essential oils, it’s little wonder that they have gained an unfavorable reputation. Except for tarragon, artemisia are bushy shrubs with frilly, feather-like gray-green leaves with flashes of silver. They are often included in landscapes more for their distinctive look than their uses. The flowers are small and yellow-green, so not really noteworthy. Some popular species that are more common in the U.S. include mugwort, wormwood, sagebrush and tarragon. We grow tarragon and southernwood, and have grown wormwood.
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