Tarragon, Russian (Artemisia dracunculus compositae) is a perennial herb that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is a variety of tarragon and is often referred to as "false" or "wild" tarragon. While it shares a similar name with the more common French Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa), Russian Tarragon has distinct characteristics and is generally considered to have a milder flavor.
Russian Tarragon is native to Central Asia and Siberia. It is a hardy plant that grows up to 90-120 cm (35-47 inches) in height. It has narrow, lance-shaped leaves that are dark green and can grow up to 10 cm (4 inches) in length. The leaves have a mild anise or licorice-like flavor.
Culinary uses of Russian Tarragon are similar to those of French Tarragon. It is used as a flavoring herb in a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, sauces, dressings, and marinades. However, Russian Tarragon is generally considered to have a milder and less pronounced flavor compared to the French variety. It is often used as a substitute for French Tarragon when the latter is not available or to provide a more subtle herbal note.
It's important to note that Russian Tarragon does not produce viable seeds and is primarily propagated through root division or cuttings. This is because the plant does not possess the same intense flavor as French Tarragon when grown from seeds.
In terms of cultivation, Russian Tarragon prefers well-drained soil and full sun exposure. It is a relatively low-maintenance herb and can be grown in herb gardens or containers. Regular pruning helps to promote bushier growth and maintain the plant's shape.
While Russian Tarragon is mainly used for culinary purposes, it is worth mentioning that it does not contain the same aromatic compounds, such as estragole, which are present in French Tarragon. French Tarragon is often preferred for its stronger flavor and is considered the superior variety for culinary use.
In summary, Russian Tarragon is a variety of tarragon with a milder flavor compared to French Tarragon. It is used as a culinary herb and can provide a subtle anise-like taste to various dishes. However, if the strong and distinct flavor of tarragon is desired, French Tarragon is typically the preferred choice.
Botanical name : Artemisia dracunculus compositae
Common name : Tarragon , Russian
Life cycle : Perennial in Zones 4-9
Days to maturity : 90-120
Light requirement : Full sun
Planting time : Spring/Summer
Sowing method : Direct sow
Planting depth : ¼”
Plant spacing : 18"-36"
Ships : Year-round
Average seed per ounce : Approx. 150,000