The thick, cylindrical rhizome or underground stem of a tropical plant belongs to the ginger family. Finely grated it adds many health benefits and a brilliant orange colour and earthy flavour to foods such as Indian curries, rice and vegetarian dishes. Fresh Turmeric is lightly aromatic and slightly peppery, the flavour is pungent and bitter. Turmeric is a primary ingredient of Curry Powder. Used heavily in Indian Cuisine such as legumes, beans, and vegetable dishes. That wonderful ballpark mustard also contains turmeric as a colouring. To make yellow rice, use one teaspoon to colour one cu
Hardy ginger variety, very popular used in desert foods. Aromatic perennial plant with a pungent rhizome that is used as a spice, flavouring, food, and medicine. Excellent pot plant and easy to harvest all year round by digging fresh tubers as you need them. The leafy stems of ginger grow about a meter high.
a native of Japan where it is grown commercially for its delicious spring shoots and young flower buds produced in autumn. Myoga flower buds are used in soups, tempura, pickled and as a spice. Like most gingers it is an understory of forests and so grows best under some shade. It can get sunburned leaves which will reduce its vigor if grown in full sun. In winter the top growth dies back and it regenerates in spring from the underground rhizomes.
Holds its strong savoury flavour well - add at beginning of cooking. Thyme is the perfect plant for garden edges when it can be walked on to scent pathways and simply harvested. Sore throats benefit from a thyme gargle which is strongly antiseptic.
One of the essential kitchen herbs, parsley is easy to grow in pots, containers and window boxes where it can be kept close to the kitchen door. It also attracts many beneficial insects to the garden. As a biennial plants it will flower in it second years and should then be replaced.
Galangal is a fantastic member of the ginger family. The plant has striking orchid-like blooms and is often found in subtropical and tropical gardens. The knobby root has a delicious exotic taste with a touch of pepper and ginger. Best known as Thai Ginger, Galangal is similar to ginger in appearance, but not in flavor or texture. There are two primary types, Greater and Lesser. Indian and Thai Curries make primary use of Galangal and it is a prime ingredient of the popular Bitters used in mixed drinks. Use ground Galangal with other spices such as Cumin, Coriander, and Thai chillies to seas
A tropical perennial growing to 50 - 70cm high. Leaves die back in frost. It is the fat swollen roots that are sought after in this species and not the rhizome. The succulent roots are used to flavour many kinds of food either added raw or cooked. They are also sold in a pickled form in Indonesia & Thailand. Young leaves & shoots are also eaten. Formerly listed as Boesenbergia panduratum.
Stevia or the sugar herb is native to Brazil. The fresh or dried leaves can be used as a sugar substitute to sweeten cakes, drinks or desserts and are the only natural sweetener to have zero calories, carbohydrates and a zero glycemic index. The leaves if eaten fresh have a distinct set of flavours, the first sensation on the taste buds is the sweetness, this is followed by a pleasant aniseed like flavour which is lost totally once the herb is dried. Stevia is best grown in a sunny or partly shaded position where it is protected from frost. Thrives in moist, well drained soils enriched with
Cardamon ginger is a leafy ginger-like plant that grows in clumps and makes an excellent low screen, it adds a tropical feel to any garden. While the seeds don't resemble true cardamon the leaves can be used in desserts, to add flavour when steaming rice or used to wrap fish. Leaves are also delicious when infused to make spiced tea's, infuse one cardamon leaf, two sticks of lemon grass and one chopped chilli for a winter warmer.
Also known as annatto or the Lipstick tree, originates from South America and has spread in popularity to many parts of Asia. It is very popular in Philippine cooking. Grows and a dense small tree or shrub. The heart shaped fruits are brown or reddish brown at maturity, and are covered with short stiff hairs. When fully mature the fruits split open exposing the numerous dark red seeds. While the fruit itself is not edible, the orange-red pulp that covers the seed is used as a commercial food colouring and dye (similar to turmeric). The achiote dye is prepared by stirring the seeds in water,
Fresh leaves from this tree are an indispensable ingredient in Indian cooking. The leaves are pretty much unknown in the West because they lose most of their flavour when dried. They have a distinct, spicy curry-like flavour and odour.
Warning: The seeds are poisonous and should not be eaten
Lemongrass is one of the most versatile of herbs. It makes a delicious herbal tea, is often used in cooking, as an effective pest repellent and an almost impenetrable weed barrier. Tie the outer leaves in a loop and cook with food to impart flavour. Be sure to remove before serving. Incredibly fast to become established and drought tolerant.
This popular herb is particularly used widely in Greek and Italian cuisines. Its leaves have characteristic aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste. The intensity varies; however, good quality oregano is so strong that it almost numbs the tongue. Oregano is a wonderful perennial culinary as well as medicinal herb
A mild chilli which has a sweet taste. Yellow Cayenne chillies are ideal in Asian dishes and can be used for pickling. Chillies are long capsicum like up to 100mm changing from green to yellow then red on full maturity.
This well-known showy plant is a member of the Borage and Forget-me-not tribe, Boraginaceae. A hardy perennial, its large leaves are rough and hairy all over. Comfrey thrives in almost any soil or situation, but does best in moist conditions. A useful plant it can be used with great success as a liquid manure, activator for compost heaps, a weed barrier or attractive understory plant.
This species bears a striking similarity to Cape York Turmeric. It differs in that the flower bracts are a deeper pink/purple colour as is the dark strip that runs up the centre of the leaf. Often used medicinally, in Bali a delicious drink is made by cooking dried slices of rhizome in water with palm sugar.
The oyster mushroom is frequently used in Japanese, Korean and Chinese cookery as a delicacy: it is frequently served on its own, in soups, stuffed, or in stir-fry recipes with soy sauce. Oyster mushrooms are sometimes made into a sauce, used in Asian cooking, which is similar to oyster sauce. The mushroom's taste has been described as a mild with a slight odor similar to anise. The oyster mushroom is best when picked young Best Temperature Range : Low: 10-21 °C fruiting temperature
Amazing blue colour, the oyster mushroom is frequently used in Japanese, Korean and Chinese cookery as a delicacy: it is served on its own, in soups, stuffed, or in stir-fry recipes with soy sauce. Oyster mushrooms are sometimes made into a sauce, used in Asian cooking, which is similar to oyster sauce. The mushroom's taste has been described as a mild with a slight odor similar to anise. The oyster mushroom is best when picked young. Steel blue colored fruit bodies especially when young. Best Temperature Range : Low: 10-21 °C fruiting temperature
The easiest to grow of all onions, these onions are also known as Egyptian and top-setting onions. They grow in any soil with reasonable drainage, but if you want big fat bulbs then dig in compost and horse, cow or sheep manure a few weeks before planting. Grow from bulbs planted with just the top poking out of the soil, or from single bulbils planted just under the surface of the soil, in a position with full sun. Space plants about 40cm apart and they will grow to be about 60cm tall. Bulbs can be dug up about 5 months after planting. Save some bulbs for replanting or just replant the bulbi
Mainly used for herbal tea and for traditional recipes such as mint sauce. To dry your home grown herbs, cut the stems before flowering begins and hang in bunches in a cool dry place. Perfect for containers mint is a pleasure to have in the garden when its aromatic leaves can be enjoyed.
Highly ornamental tree and the source of cinnamon spice. The spice itself is the bark that is peeled from the branches after 2 years. Scrape the bark leave for a day so that the inner bark curls into cinnamon sticks as it dries. The base of the leaf can be chewed for a cinnamon flavour. Cinnamon is a very elegant and useful aromatic, much kinder to the palate than the other spice trees.
The healing powers of the Aloe Vera plant have been known throughout the civilised world for centuries. While considered by many to be a member of the cactus family it is actually a member of the lily family along with onion, garlic and asparagus.
It is a perennial herb with thick, succulent, pointed, basal leaves. The leaves are a grey-green to reddish colour and are sometimes spotted. The margins are slightly pink with pale teeth; flowers yellow in terminal, elongated clusters.
Currently known as Aloe barbadensis it is now agreed that Aloe vera can take precedence. That's much easier for
Cultivated for the fruit which is dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruits are dark red when fully ripe. Immature fruits can be picked as green pepper, black pepper is the fruit dried with the skin on and white pepper is the dried seed only. Black pepper is the worlds most widely traded spice.
Chocolate Mint is a medium growing mint reaching up to 60cm tall, with a spreading nature up to 60cm. The large ovate leaves are a dark bronze-green, with deep reddish-purple stems. The lilac-purple flowers appear in summer and open from the bottom of the false whorl, progressing to the top of the inflorescence. The aroma and flavour are open to interpretation. Some people describe the taste as like peppermint with chocolate undertones, while others cannot detect the chocolate flavour at all. The parent plant is Peppermint, so this is the main flavour with the chocolate being a novelty.
Peanuts grow best in light, sandy-loam soil. They require five months of warm weather and regular moisture. The pods ripen 120 to 150 days after the seeds are planted. If the crop is harvested too early, the pods will be unripe. If they are harvested late, the pods will snap off at the stalk, and will remain in the soil. They prefer an acidic soil of preferably 5.9 - 7 pH. Although referred to as a nut peanuts are actually a legume.
A very decorative chilli often holding fruit of many colours at one time. It is a bush plant with fruits that start of green and white before turning orange/red when fully ripe. The chillis are mid heat 7/10 with a great flavour. Essential for Indonesian cuisine, in Bali the tern cabe means chilli and is pronounced chabey.
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A low growing plant with a rosette growth habit. The leaves are stiff, long and deeply toothed: the flowers are spiky. The leaves are used in curries, salads, chutneys and salsa. It has a stronger flavour than coriander and retains its flavour when dried. It grows well in pots. Hi
A mild chili which has a sweet taste. Yellow Cayenne chillies are ideal in Asian dishes and can be used for pickling. Chillies are long capsicum like up to 100mm changing from green to yellow then red on full maturity.
Famous for its spicy roots, it has a hot biting taste with a hint of sweetness. The plant is a hardy perennial herb that will grow rampantly under most condition except full shade and in wet ground. It is best controlled by growing in a container. Roots will keep in the ground throughout winter and can be harvested as required. They are an excellent source of sulfur. Young leaves can also be eaten raw or cooked, they have a strong flavour so are best used in moderation.
A type of sweet basil native to Southeast Asia that has been cultivated to provide distinctive traits. Its flavor is more stable under high or extended cooking temperatures than that of sweet basil. Thai basil exhibits small, narrow leaves and purple stems, with a mauve flower.
Easy to process and relatively problem free the arabica thrives in frost free climates. In as little as three years the plant will be covered with white jasmine-scented flower clusters and cherry red berries.
A deciduous shrub native to South America. It is an attractive plant with beautiful lemon scented leaves that can be used to flavour sweet and savoury dishes as well as making a refreshing herbal tea. Lemon verbena grows best is a sunny position in free draining moist soil. It does not tolerate frost but can be grown in a pot and protected on frosty nights. The attractive, delicate and fragrant white/mauve flowers are also used in teas and other culinary concoctions.
Star Anise Tree is a small to medium, rounded, evergreen tree with glossy foliage. Flowers are small and greenish white to pink or purple with a central boss of stamens which are followed by aromatic seed pods that open out into a star shape when ripe. The essential oil and the ground spice, star anise, are extracted from the brown pods and the seeds. The oil primarily contains anethole. The spice is used in Chinese and northern Vietnamese cooking and is one of the ingredients in five-spice powder. It can be used as a substitute for anise and is frequently used to flavour liqueurs such as Pe
The fermented pod of this climbing orchid is harvested from the Vanilla Vine or orchid, an aromatic sweet scents used to flavour cakes, and perfumes. Must be hand pollinated. The only insect capable of pollinating the blossom is the Melipona, a bee (see video) , native only to Mexico so all plants must be hand pollinated within 12 hours of the flower opening. The pods take nine month to develop.
A woody perennial herb with aromatic fragrant needle like leaves, native to the Mediterranean region. Rosemary is a member of the mint family, the name rosemary comes from the Latin rosmarinus, meaning dew of the sea, apparently because they are often found growing by the sea.
A perenial herb that is used to flavour chicken, egg and fish dishes. Aromatic and full of flavour French tarragon can be infused in oils and vinegar. This plant happily tolerates neglect and is drought hardy. Must be grown from cuttings as seeds revert to the inferior Russian variety.
The fruits are red, yellow, purple or black. Pungent, hot and spicy. The flowers are greenish white or yellowish white. Can be called the Thai Chilli as well. The plant can grow up to 2m tall however very easily stays small especially in pots. It's origins are from Mexico however it is most famous for being used in Vietnamese cooking in soups, stir fries and salads. Thai cuisine commonly uses this chilli and it is because it has a fruity taste and an extreme spiciness. Many of the Thai curries are centred around the flavour of the Birds Eye chilli and it has become so common in Thai cooking
Green in colour at first, and ripens to red, brown, orange, or yellow. 5 times hotter than the jalapeno, they don't need to be steamed or peeled before using, making it the easiest chilli to use for salsas.
Medium-sized hemiparasitic trees that attach themselves to the root system of nearby plants from which they extract water and minerals. Pinto Peanut and Acacia are suitable hosts as they are a legume and hence a natural nitrogen source. Keep Acacias pruned so they dont over take growth of Sandalwood. Used in the production of sandalwood oil, trees are harvested from 8 years and the entire tree is used for oil production including the roots and stump. The production of sandalwood in India and Nepal is strictly controlled by the government who owns all the trees, however illegal harvesting and
Ornamental and aromatic, this is both beautiful and useful. Perfect in fruit salads and summer drinks or it can be used to make apple mint jelly. Hardy and easy to grow, preferring full sun to lightly shady conditions. Attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.
Frost hardy annual to 50 cm high x 30 cm wide. Prune off all flower stems to produce more leaves. Use all parts - leaves, stems and roots. Seeds can be ground and used in curry.
Dainty white flowers attract beneficial predators (ladybirds, lacewings) into the garden.
Regularly, the more you harvest the more it will produce. If kept warm and harvested often you may even get 10 months worth of Basil leaves. Choose a sunny site with well-drained soil, amend with well-rotted manure or compost. Basil Sweet, originally from India, is best known as a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Northeast Asian cuisine of Taiwan and the Southeast Asian cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet
Lemon balm is a pretty plant that prefers rich moist soil and partial shade. It can tolerate direct sunlight but plants grown in shade tend to be larger and more succulent. It is related to mint in appearance, but it is not as invasive and easier to control. A clump-forming herbaceous perennial with heart shaped, deeply veined leaves that are covered with stiff hairs. Chopped fresh leaves can be used to add zest to sweet or tangy dishes. It combines well with allspice, bay leaves, mint, pepper, rosemary and thyme. A wonderful addition to fruit salads, green salads, herb butters, fruit drinks
Spreading perennial to 45 cm. Best in separate bed or pot. Pick and use at the last moment as mint aroma dissipates very quickly. Mint is commonly used combined with lamb, carrots, potatoes, peas, pork, yoghurt and in desserts, drinks and herbal teas.
Flat-leaved parsley is preferred by some as it easier to cultivate, being more tolerant of both rain and sunshine and has a stronger flavour. Freshly chopped green parsley is used as a topping for soups, salads and as a flavouring for many dishes. In the garden parsley is attractive to beneficial insects.
A small, perennial, evergreen with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. Native to the Mediterranean region. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use, and in modern times as an ornamental garden plant. As a kitchen herb, sage has a slight peppery flavor.
A perenial herb with soft delicate leaves, it is commonly used to flavour fish dishes. Successful cultivation requires warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially. It also prefers rich, well drained soil.It is attractive to beneficial insects in the garden.
A perennial herb with sweet pine and citrus flavours. Marjoram is indigenous to the Mediterranean area and was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness. Marjoram has a more mild and sweet flavour than oregano.
This herb is not a member of the mint family despite the familiar appearance and scent. Commonly eaten fresh in salads, soups and stews. A perennial plant that grows best in tropical and subtropical where it likes a moist position.
Santorini tomato plants bear more fruit than ordinary tomato plants, matures earlier in the year, maintains its deep red colour with much greater consistency than other cherry tomatoes and requires no watering, an important attribute for Aegean islands, where water is often in short supply. And, of course, it tastes like a real tomato, unlike all those coloured cardboard varieties you find on the market.
The island of Santorini is rightly renowned for its dramatic setting. Volcanic flows and scatterings of ash mark the countryside with their strange shapes and intensity of colours
This is not a true garlic but forms a bulb consisting of very large, garlic-like cloves. The flavour of these, while not exactly like garlic, is much more similar to garlic than to leeks. The flavour is milder than garlic, and much more palatable to some people than garlic when used raw as in salads. The mature bulb is broken up into cloves which are quite large and with papery skins and these are used for both culinary purposes and propagation. There are also much smaller cloves with a hard shell that occur on the outside of the bulb. These are often ignored, but if they are planted, they w
The leaves are used chopped in sauces, soups, salads and as a garnish. The flower buds steeped in vinegar give it a mild garlic flavour and can also be used as a garnish. It is an attractive edging plant for herb and vegetable gardens, the cut flowers last well in water and are also edible, adding a spicy bite to salads.
A perennial herb, a relative of oregano, native to the Mediterranean. Has attractive greying-green leaves with a spicy smell and flavour, combining sweet marjoram, thyme, and oregano. It can be used to flavour hummus, dips and soups. It does well in pots.
Easy to grow perennial herb. Bright yellow flowers appear in cluster in the summer. the leaves are long and narrow with a distinct aniseed scent and flavour. Use sparingly in any recipe calling for French tarragon to which it is similar. It also makes a great herb vinegar for use in salad dressings.
Echinacea is an important medicinal herb to have in your garden. Not only is it a pleasure to grow, its uses are limitless. The roots of Echinacea are said to �stimulate the immune system and promote healing. Its�most common use is to ward off the onset of the common cold and to alleviate the effects of a sore throat.
As this is an herbaceous perennial, it will be non existant above the ground for winter.�Echinacea flowers through spring, summer and autumn dieing down over winter then rise again in early spring.
The root may be harvested when the plant is about 2-3 years old depending
Commonly used in herbal medicine where it is prepared as a herbal tea.in the mountain regions of southern China and northern Vietnam it is known as the immortality herb as the people of this region who consume it regularly have a history of unusual longevity. A climbing vine native to China and south east Asia. Plants are dioecious, meaning they are either male or female and one of each will be required for seed set. Grow as an annual and harvest in the summer. The name Jiaogulan is Chinese for twisting vine orchid.
A vinous plant found throughout Thailand and Vietnam where it used to make teas and refreshing iced drinks (Nam Yanang) soup bases (Kaeng No Mai, Samlar Machu) and a type of Jelly called Suong Sam. Essence is extracted simply by rubbing the leaves together in water until this turns deep green. Superior flavor and processing time than Mesona Chinensis, which is a plant in the mint family used to make Grass Jelly.
Native to Assam in India, the Ghost Pepper held the Guinness world record for the hottest chilli in 2007. Also known as Bhut Jolokia, the word Bhut, means ghost, because of the way the heat sneaks up on those who eat it, is the name given to this chilli from the Bhutias people. The heat is extreme, rated as 14/10 so take care when handing the fruit. This chilli is a must have for those who love chilli and hot, spicy food.
Has a spicy, fragrant aroma and flavor. Cinnamon basil is an easy-to-grow herb. It requires six to eight hours of bright sunlight per day. Cinnamon basil has somewhat narrow, slightly serrated, dark green, shiny leaves with reddish-purple veins, which can resemble certain types of mint, and produces small, pink flowers. Cinnamon basil is used in teas and baked goods such as cookies and pies. It is also used in pastas, salads, jellies, and vinegar.
A tropical evergreen, clump-forming spice and fruit bearing giant ginger native to West Central Africa. Growing to 6m or more, the rhizomes are reddish-brown, 1.5 cm in diameter. The large, ridged bright red, fleshy fruit are produced at the base of the plant and contain a sweet edible pulp that is tangy and juicy. The seeds are used as a piquant spice, not unlike peppercorns. Grows best is a shaded position
Traditionally used as a culinary herb and folk remedy. Pennyroyal is a relative of mint and has a strong fragrance similar to spearmint. The oil is used in aromatherapy.
Caution - Pennyroyal is highly toxic and the oil is extremely poisonous. It should be used with caution.
The young shoots and leaves are stewed in Mediterranean meat, fish or vegetable dishes until they have imparted their flavour, and removed before serving. It grows on dry, rocky or sandy ground around the Mediterranean region. The stems are woody at the base and can reach 60cm or more in height. The clusters of yellow flowers are produced in Summer, they retain their colour after picking and are used in dried flower arrangements.
Young leaves and the thick, tender stem tips are cut and boiled as a spinach. It is a tasty vegetable, and is exceptionally high in protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin A. However, raw chaya leaves are toxic as they contain a glucoside that can release toxic cyanide. Cooking is essential prior to consumption to inactivate the toxic components and must be cooked before being eaten. Traditionally leaves are immersed and simmered for 20 minutes and then served with oil or butter. Cooking for 20 minutes or more will render the leaves safe to eat. Chaya leaves can be harvested continuously as l
A pungent, aromatic, herbaceous perennial. The green three sides seed pods are popular in Indian and Asian cooking and can be used whole or ground into a spice.The flowers are white to lilac or pale violet, produced in a loose spike 30 to 60 cm long.
Extremely strong pungency that is akin to hot mustard, wasabi produces vapours that stimulate the nasal passages more than the tongue. Generally used as a sauce that makes sushi or other foods more flavourful by adding spice. Use the stem sparingly and finely grated. Grows naturally along stream beds in cool mountain rivers valleys of Japan. Challenging to grow in Australia. Requires cool, moist, shaded conditions to thrive. It takes about 18 month - 2 years for plants to mature, in the meantime use the leaves and the leaf stems in salads, curries and pickled accompaniments.
Allspice takes its name from its aroma. The dried berries smells like a combination of spices, especially cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. The evergreen tree that produces the allspice berries is indigenous to the rainforests of Central America.
It is a member of the Myrtle family, growing as an attractive tree of dense foliage reaching 12m in tropical conditions. It produces small which flowers followed by the hard woody reddish/brown berries. While male and female plants are required for pollination to set fruit, the tree is often grown for ornamental purposes and leaf harvest.
Resistant to both 'Berry Disease' and 'Coffee Rust' this tree was developed and recommended for growing in the Northern Rivers Area by NSW Agriculture Department after extensive trials at Alstonville NSW. An open spreading variety, it is a reliable cropper, producing large flavour-filled beans; it is also the recommended variety for those who intend to harvest mechanically.
This handsome pyramid shaped tree makes a superb tub specimen, hedging plant or topiary sculpture due to its positive response to pruning. The leaves of the bay are used as a popular culinary seasoning used in all types of cooking.
The Rocoto Tree Chilli also has another common name of Hotlips there is no question of the heat in these perennial chillies. The fruit matures from green to red and ranges in heat from medium hot to very hot depending on the weather. The shrub will fruit abundantly for many years. The deep rich chilli flavour is accentuated when dry roasted in a pan or directly over a flame.
Also known as the Horseradish tree or Tree of Life originated in India and has spread in popularity to many parts of Asia, Central and South America, Africa and the Pacific. This tree has delicate foliage and attractive pale yellow flowers. Possibly one of the most useful trees in the world, it produces long green pods that have been compared to a cross between peanuts and asparagus. The peeled roots are used as a substitute for horseradish and the edible leaves make a highly nutritious vegetable. Claims are made that its tiny leaves contains 7 times the Vit C of oranges, 4 times the Vit A o