Culinary Herb Garden Plants:
The Best Cooking Herbs And Spices!

Culinary herb garden plants have a strong flavor and are used mostly for seasoning rather than as a main ingredient.

The term "salad herb" is used for spicy plants that are commonly put into salads.

Home grown fresh herbs have a taste that's unique to your soil and climate, and have much more nutritional value when compared to store-bought herbs.

You can dry your own herbs and save so much money when compared to buying at a store.

Plus, herbs are beautiful plants that add so much to your edible landscape -- some have flowers, others have attractive foliage, and still more repel pests and attract beneficial insects like butterflies and bees.

So cooking herbs should be a part of every edible garden.

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How to choose cooking herbs

When choosing culinary herbs and spices for your edible landscape, it helps to think about what you like to cook. Grow the cooking herbs that you actually use!

One way to do this is to keep a log of what herbs and spices you use while cooking for several weeks.

Once you have a list, consider your climate and planting zone, then narrow the list down to what herb garden plants you might actually be able to grow in your area.

If you have questions after that, please come by and ask!

List of common cooking and salad herb garden plants:


Anise (Pimpinella anisum, also known as aniseed)

Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Arugula (Salad herb)

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) -- the traditional bay leaf tree

Bergamot (Monarda species, also known as Bee balm)

Black cumin (Nigella sativa -- other names: black onion seed, kalo jeeray, chernushka and çörek otu)

Black cumin (Bunium persicum -- other names are: kala zeera, zireh kuhi, and сиёх дона)

Black pepper (Piper nigrum, also known as peppervine)

Borage (Borago officinalis, starflower)

Calendula (also called pot marigold)

California Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica -- some other names: bay nut, Oregon myrtle, pepperwood, spicebush, peppernut tree and cinnamon bush)

Caraway (Carum carvi, also called meridian fennel and Persian cumin)

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium)

Chicory (Cichorium intybus, also called succory, radicchio, and Belgian endive)

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum, leaves are called cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley and dhania.)

Cicely (Myrrhis odorata, also referred to as sweet cicely. Note that there are plants of other species called sweet cicely that are not edible. Know what you're eating!)

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)

Curry tree (Murraya koenigii)

Dill, parsley, basil and caterpillar!

Dill (Anethum graveolens -- other names: dill weed, shibint, Laotian coriander, Lao cilantro, phak see, mărar, shevid, savaa and mirodjija)

Endive (Cichorium endivia, a salad herb) -- curly endive is often referred to as chicory in the US

Epazote (Dysphania ambrosioides, formerly Chenopodium ambrosioides, also called wormseed, Mexican tea)

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare, sometimes mislabeled as anise)

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum -- other names are: methi, Samudra Methi, abesh, and halba)

Garden cress ((Lepidium sativum, a salad herb, also called peppergrass and pepperwort)

Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum -- other names are kow choi and green Nira grass)

Hoja santa (Piper auritum, also called yerba santa, Mexican pepperleaf, and anisillo)

Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana

Herb hyssop (Hyssopus species)



Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon grass (Cymbopogon species)

Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citrodora)

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Lovage (Levisticum officinale, a salad herb)

Marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis)

Mint is a beautiful herb.

Mint (Mentha species) -- considered invasive, plant only in confined areas or containers.

Mitsuba (Cryptotaenia species)

Mustard (Brassica and Sinapis species)

Nasturtium (Salad herb)

Ngò om (Limnophila aromatica, other names are rice paddy herb and phak kayang)

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans -- mace is the outer coating of the nutmeg seed)

Oregano (Origanum species, also called marjoram)


Perilla (shiso)


Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) -- saffron is the dried powdered stamen of the flower


Salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor)


Savory (Satureja species, also called yerba buena, although many other unrelated plants are named that too.)

Scented geranium (Pelargonium species)

Sorrel (Rumex acetosa, a salad herb. Other names: spinach dock, narrow-leaved dock, yakuwa, sure, karassu, măcriş, ştevie, щавель, sóska, kuzu kulağı, szczaw, zurkel, Rau Chua, and azeda)

Star anise (Illicium verum, also called bājiǎo, badian, Bunga Lawang, and thakolam)

Stevia (Stevia species, also called sweetleaf or sugar leaf)

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus, sometimes known as dragon's-wort)


As you'll notice, many herbs have similar common names. Check the scientific name when buying herb garden plants to make sure you get the one you want. Also, some plants taste better than others, so if you can, taste the plant before buying.

If your soil or climate isn't suitable for a herb that you really like, consider growing herbs in containers, raised beds, or a greenhouse (depending on where you are and what your situation is). There are many window herb garden kits available as well.

Would you like to discuss growing herb garden plants and spices with others who love edible landscaping as much as you do? Join the Tasteful Landscape community!

What would you like to read about next? Here are some related pages:

Edible perennials - Annual flowers

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