Herbs and spices are used to flavor food. Herbs are plants lacking permanent woody stems and are valued for qualities such as medicinal properties, flavor and scent. Spices are made from vegetative substances such as seeds, roots and barks.



Pennyroyal, the name of two aromatic herbs. The European, or garden, pennyroyal, native to Europe, and sometimes cultivated in the United States, is a low-growing perennial plant with small bluish flowers.

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  • Portulaca

    Portulaca, a low-growing herb. It has fleshy, reddish stems; short, spoon-shaped leaves; and small, five-petaled flowers. See more »

  • Rape

    Rape, in botany, an annual plant that is grown as a forage crop and for the oil obtainable from its seeds. See more »

  • Sage

    Sage, or Salvia, a genus of plants native to tropical and temperate regions. The genus is made up of about 700 species, most of which are herbs. See more »

  • Sesame

    Sesame, an annual herb native to tropical Asia and Africa. There are about 30 species of sesame, but only one is cultivated, primarily for its seeds. See more »

  • Spearmint

    Spearmint, a perennial, aromatic herb native to the temperate regions of Europe and Asia. See more »

  • Balm

    Balm, a perennial sweet herb belonging to the mint family. It is also known as bee balm and, because of the aromatic lemon flavor of its leaves, lemon balm. See more »

  • Caraway

    Caraway, an herb grown chiefly for its spicy fruits. It is native to Europe, and is cultivated there and in the United States. See more »

  • Cardamom

    Cardamom, or Cardamon, a fragrant tropical herb; also, its fruit and seeds. The plant grows to a height of 10 feet (3 m) and bears leaves that are 2 feet (60 cm) long. See more »

  • Catnip

    Catnip, or Catmint, a plant of the mint family. It originally came from Europe, and now is found throughout North America in shady spots around farm buildings and under pasture fences. See more »

  • Chervil

    Chervil, the name given to two types of edible plants of the carrot family. Both have small white flowers clustered at the ends of several stems. See more »

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