Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tarragon, French Tarragon, Common Kitchen Tarragon
Artemisia dracunculus

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

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

20 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
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
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings
By simple layering

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

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4 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral DannyJoe On Jul 24, 2013, DannyJoe from York, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Make sure you don't get the Russian Tarragon, False Tarragon, (Artemisia dracunculoides)
which is invasive and has no flavor.

Nurseries often substitute the Russian Tarragon because it is a vigorous grower and so much easier to propagate.

Positive MollymDG On Jul 22, 2010, MollymDG from Manteca, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Tarragon grows very well here in Central CA but I have to keep it in a pot -- it dies in the ground no matter how I place it. But all tarragon plants are not equal!

Look in the Image section under "tarragon" and compare the plant I got from Lazy S's mailorder nursery (a DG top 30 and I found them here) -- huge, aromatic, beautiful-- with the one I got from a local nursery. Both small plants in 3 1/2" pots, planted into the same 18" pot filled with Supersoil pepped up with water crystals and perlite, on the same day. Tarragon showed up in local nurseries just as the Lazy S's plant arrived. I (as I thought) straightened out the roots of each as I planted -- note that nursery plant has girdling root near top. Both are clearly the true French A. dracunculus tarragon but the Lazy S's plant was more aromatic from day 1 and still is.

Lesson I learned (again)? A good MO nursery beats any brick&mortar nursery in my area hands down, and I've proved it again & again with plants from all plant groups.

We have sandy loam soil with a fair number of diseases, and nematodes here and there. Can't keep tarragon or lavender alive in the ground, can't kill 'em if I grow them in pots: they survive drying out and drowning equally well. No explanation, but if a particular herb won't "do" for you, try a pot?

mm/ Central CA zone schizo: Bay Area air warms our Central Valley location in winter, cools the nights (and some days) in summer. Hard frosts (below 28 degrees) for more than minutes unusual except some years, summer days above 100 routine.

Negative resistantgardener On Mar 3, 2010, resistantgardener from Verona, PA wrote:

Several sites say that you cannot grow Tarragon from seed because it doesn't produce any. Yet here I sit with a Burpee packet of Tarragon Artemisia Dracunculus. So, does it produce seeds? If not, what do I have here?

Positive dianne99 On May 21, 2009, dianne99 from Brookville, KS (Zone 5b) wrote:

According to Golden Harvest Organics on their site,, it is an excellent companion plant. Check out their entire companion planting guide and excellent organic neem and garlic products. "TARRAGON: Plant throughout the garden, not many pests like this one. Recommended to enhance growth and flavor of vegetables."

Positive celtic_wyndes_f On May 10, 2009, celtic_wyndes_f from Hallsville, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

Harvest: Entire plant when lower leaves turn yellow.

Neutral frostweed On Nov 30, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Tarragon, French Tarragon, Common Kitchen Tarragon Artemisia dracunculus is native to Texas and other States.

Neutral hanna1 On Oct 26, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Also aromatic pepper-like flavor. Essential ingredient in French cuisine. I like to use it to infuse vinegar, great in a pat of butter to top fish.

Positive smiln32 On Aug 29, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

A strong licorice flavor used in French cooking. Great for herbal vinegars, sauces, fish and stews. Be careful not to overcook this herb or it can become bitter. Historically used to treat snake bites and ease fatigue, it has a mild anesthetic effect and was once used to treat tooth aches. Host plant for the swallowtail butterfly.


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

Atascadero, California
Castro Valley, California
Glen Avon, California
Los Angeles, California
Manteca, California
Menifee, California
Merced, California
San Francisco, California
Sunnyvale, California
New Haven, Connecticut
Emmett, Idaho
Park Ridge, Illinois
Flora, Indiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Millbury, Massachusetts
Hallsville, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Pahrump, Nevada
Annandale, New Jersey
Plainfield, New Jersey
Deposit, New York
Jefferson, New York
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Walnutport, Pennsylvania
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Colville, Washington
Spokane, Washington

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