Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), also known as estragon, is a species of perennial herb in the sunflower family. It is widespread in the wild across much of Eurasiaand North America, and is cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Tarragon grows to 120–150 cm (47–59 in) tall, with slender branched stems. French tarragon, however, seldom produces any flowers (or seeds). Some tarragon plants produce seeds that are generally only sterile. Others produce viable seeds. Tarragon has rhizomatous roots that it uses to spread and readily reproduce.
Replanted into Bigger pot August 9, 2017
August 9 2017 Brugge Belgium .
Diseases and Problems
Wash, then use whole sprigs or strip the leaves from the stalks and use whole or chopped.
Use to make sauces for fish and poultry. Add to salad dressings; use to flavour butter or white wine vinegar.
Tarragon has an intense flavour that’s a unique mix of sweet aniseed and a mild vanilla.
Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes of French cooking, and is particularly suitable for chicken, fish, cheese and egg dishes. Tarragon is the main flavoring component of Béarnaise sauce. Fresh, lightly bruised sprigs of tarragon are steeped in vinegar to produce tarragon vinegar.
Tarragon is used to flavor a popular carbonated soft drink in the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and, by extension, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The drink, named Tarhun, is made out of sugary tarragon concentrate and colored bright green.
In Iran, tarragon is used as a side dish in sabzi khordan (fresh herbs), or in stews and in Persian style pickles, particularly khiar shoor (pickled cucumbers).
In Slovenia, tarragon is used in a variation of the traditional nut roll sweet cake, called potica. In Hungary a popular kind of chicken soup is flavored with tarragon.
Tarragon is a good companion to most vegetables in the garden.
- Be sure to prune the plant regularly to prevent flowering and to keep the height to around 2 feet (otherwise the plant will fall over).
- If you live in a colder climate, be sure to put mulch around the plants in late fall in order to protect the roots during the winter.
- To help keep your plants healthy, divide them every 3 to 4 years in the spring or fall. New plants can grow from stem cuttings or root cuttings.
French tarragon is the variety used for cooking in the kitchen and is not grown from seed, as the flowers are sterile; instead it is propagated by root division.
Russian tarragon (A. dracunculoides L.) can be grown from seed but is much weaker in flavor when compared to the French variety.However, Russian tarragon is a far more hardy and vigorous plant, spreading at the roots and growing over a meter tall. This tarragon actually prefers poor soils and happily tolerates drought and neglect. It is not as strongly aromatic and flavorsome as its French cousin, but it produces many more leaves from early spring onwards that are mild and good in salads and cooked food. Russian tarragon loses what flavor it has as it ages and is widely considered useless as a culinary herb, though it is sometimes used in crafts. The young stems in early spring can be cooked as an asparagus substitute. Horticulturists recommend that Russian tarragon be grown indoors from seed and planted out in the summer. The spreading plants can be divided easily.
A better substitute for French tarragon is Spanish tarragon (Tagetes lucida), also known as Mexican mint marigold, Mexican tarragon, Texas tarragon, or winter tarragon. It is much more reminiscent of French tarragon, with a hint of anise. Although not in the same genus as the other tarragons, Spanish tarragon has a stronger flavor than Russian tarragon that does not diminish significantly with age.