Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tarragon, French Tarragon
Artemisia dracunculus 'Sativa'

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Artemisia (ar-te-MIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: dracunculus (drak-UN-koo-lus) (Info)
Cultivar: Sativa

Synonym:Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By darius
Thumbnail #1 of Artemisia dracunculus by darius

By darius
Thumbnail #2 of Artemisia dracunculus by darius

By Baa
Thumbnail #3 of Artemisia dracunculus by Baa


3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive escubed On Jun 30, 2006, escubed from Brookline, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I've grown tarragon just about everywhere I have ever lived but I have never seen it as tall and lush as it is here in eastern Massachusetts. My 14 month old plants are over 5 feet tall after dying back during the winter. It flowered in early June with its tiny flowers. Highly recommended.

Positive lolly_braine On Nov 4, 2005, lolly_braine from Brooklyn, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is the only herb on my roof garden that reliably comes back year after year. (It is in a large tub)

Positive darius On Jul 27, 2002, darius from So.App.Mtns.
United States (Zone 5b) wrote:

French Tarragon is not grown from seed, unlike the Mexican Tarragon commonly available in US nurseries and often labeled just 'tarragon' (and also not perennial). Beware! You'll know the difference if you taste the leaves... french tarragon is without comparison for cooking. May be harvested (take1/2 to 2/3 the leaf stalks) twice during the growing season; later cut remaining stems to the ground for the last fall harvest. Dry thoroughly before storing. Smells wonderful!

Neutral Baa On Dec 5, 2001, Baa wrote:

A perennial sub-shrub from Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.

Has pale-mid green, lance-like, scented leaves on upright stems. Bears small, yellowish green/white, ball shaped flower heads which rarely open.

Flowers August-September

Likes a well drained, fertile soil in full sun.

French Tarragon - Artemisia dranunculus var. sativus and has a much better flavour than Russian Tarragon - Artemisia dranunculus, but is not nearly as hardy and requires some protection during winter. In the Russian Tarragon the leaves are thinner and paler. French Tarragon seldom sets seed.

Tarragon leaves are used in cookery and have a warm, tangy flavour and a pepper scent. It is used in herb butters, flavoured vinegars, salad dressings, soups, fish, rubbed on meat to be grilled and roasted and various sauces. Use sparingly! Chop and freeze leaves in ice cubes for an interesting addition to cold drinks.

Medicinally the root was once used to cure toothache and the leaves were used to; treat scurvy, in pick me up tonics, as a diuretic, to stimulate appetites and as a digestive aid. It was also once used to treat bites from snakes.

Cosmetically the leaves can be chewed to freshen breath. Tarragon oil has been used in perfume.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gentry, Arkansas
Santa Monica, California
Aurora, Colorado
New Haven, Connecticut
Lewes, Delaware
Litchfield, Maine
Brookline, Massachusetts
Brooklyn, New York
Deposit, New York
Knoxville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Palmyra, Virginia
Colville, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Twin Lakes, Wisconsin

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