Lovage is a terrific culinary herb and has a light, savory flavor similar to a cross between celery and anise. The leaves, stems and seeds of this plant are all edible. Leaves can be added directly to stews and soups, while stems can be blanched like vegetables or cut to create hollow natural straws which are perfect for savory drinks like Bloody Marys. The seeds can be ground into a great natural salt substitute.
Useful gardening information
If your growing season is long, start the seeds directly outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. For cooler climates with shorter growing season, start the herb seeds indoors 6 weeks before the end of frost season. Harden the seedlings off and transplant them to the herb garden after frosts have passed. To help the plants establish well, keep them well watered the first season, and use a balanced fertilizer a couple of times. The plants will only reach 24 inches the first year, but the leaves can be used when it reaches 12 inches in height.
Links to useful information on the web:
Lovage: A big plant with big flavor
HR172 Lovage ( Levisticum officinale )
As a culinary herb, Lovage has a similar taste to celery. It is a wonderful addition to soups, stews, and vegetable dishes. Use it as you would celery or parsley, but it does have a stronger flavor, so less is usually needed. Historically, Lovage was used as a medicinal herb. The ancient Greeks used it as a remedy for stomach ailments and to aid in digestion.
A perennial plant for zones 3-8, growing up to 72" tall.
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