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French Tarragon

Artemisia dracunculus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
90 centimetres tall
Gardens, wasteland.

Green, no petals
French Tarragon rarely flowers. However, the flowers when produced are yellowish-green and tiny (up to 4mm across).
Fruit is rarely seen. It is a flat, ovoid achene. Brown and hairless. Up to 1mm long.
Glossy green, lanceolate leaves. Perennial. Fairly unusual as a garden escape species.
Very aromatic, smells of aniseed.
Other Names:
Biting Dragon, Dragon Plant, Estragon, Kitchen Tarragon, Tarragon, True Tarragon.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Artemisia dracunculus, also known as tarragon, is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Asteraceae family and is related to other species such as wormwood and mugwort. The plant can grow up to 3 feet tall and has narrow, green leaves that are fragrant and have a distinctive anise flavor. The small, yellowish-green flowers are not particularly showy. Tarragon is commonly used in cooking, particularly in French cuisine. It is often used to flavor chicken, fish, and egg dishes, as well as in the production of tarragon vinegar. Tarragon is also used in traditional medicine to stimulate appetite, relieve gas and bloating, and as a mild sedative.


French Tarragon, also known as Artemisia dracunculus, is a unique and flavorful herb that has been used in French cuisine for centuries. The herb has a long history, dating back to ancient times, where it was believed to have medicinal properties and was used in various remedies. Today, French Tarragon is widely used in cooking and is considered an essential ingredient in many dishes.

One of the most distinctive features of French Tarragon is its flavor. The herb has a slightly sweet, anise-like taste that is both fragrant and subtle. The flavor of French Tarragon is often described as being “clean” and “refreshing,” making it a popular addition to many dishes. French Tarragon is commonly used in sauces, dressings, marinades, and other condiments, as well as in soups, stews, and casseroles.

In terms of cooking, French Tarragon is often used to season poultry, fish, and vegetables. It is also used in the famous French sauce Bearnaise, which is often served with steak. French Tarragon is also used in many other traditional French dishes, such as bouillabaisse, coq au vin, and escargots. The herb is also commonly used in recipes for egg dishes, such as omelettes, frittatas, and quiches.

When it comes to growing French Tarragon, the herb is relatively easy to care for. The plant is a hardy perennial that is able to withstand both hot and cold temperatures. French Tarragon prefers well-drained soil and full sun, but it can also be grown in partial shade. The plant is low-maintenance, and once established, it requires little attention.

French Tarragon is a great herb for gardeners who are looking for a plant that is both flavorful and easy to care for. The herb is also great for those who are looking for a way to add some flavor and aroma to their cooking. Whether you are a seasoned cook or just starting out, French Tarragon is a must-have ingredient for anyone who loves to cook.

French Tarragon is a unique and flavorful herb that is essential to French cuisine. With its distinctive taste and versatility, French Tarragon is a must-have ingredient for anyone who loves to cook and wants to add some extra flavor and aroma to their dishes.

In addition to its culinary uses, French Tarragon has also been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. The herb has been used as a digestive aid, to help relieve digestive discomfort and to stimulate appetite. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a useful remedy for treating conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis.

French Tarragon is also used in traditional herbal medicine for its antiseptic properties. The herb has been used to treat skin infections, wounds, and to promote the healing of wounds. French Tarragon has also been used to treat insect bites and stings, and to help relieve the itching and swelling associated with these conditions.

The essential oil of French Tarragon is also used in aromatherapy and massage, as it is believed to have a calming effect on the mind and body. The essential oil is used in massage oils and creams, as well as in bath oils, to help soothe and relax the body. French Tarragon essential oil is also used in perfumes and colognes, as it has a fresh, light fragrance that is both invigorating and uplifting.

French Tarragon is not only a flavorful herb, but also has a long history of use for its medicinal properties. The herb is versatile, easy to grow, and has a variety of uses, making it a must-have for anyone who is interested in herbal medicine and aromatherapy.

French Tarragon is also a great herb to add to your diet. It is low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any meal. The herb is high in antioxidants, which help to protect the body against the harmful effects of free radicals.

French Tarragon is also a great source of vitamin C, which is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. The herb is also a good source of iron, which is essential for the formation of red blood cells, and magnesium, which is important for maintaining healthy bones and muscles.

In addition to its health benefits, French Tarragon is also very easy to incorporate into your diet. The herb can be added to soups, stews, and casseroles, or used to flavor sauces, dressings, and marinades. French Tarragon can also be used to add flavor to scrambled eggs, omelettes, and frittatas.

French Tarragon can also be used to make herbal teas, which can help to soothe the digestive system and promote relaxation. The herb can also be used to make a simple syrup, which can be added to cocktails, iced tea, or lemonade for a delicious and healthy drink.

French Tarragon is not only a delicious and flavorful herb, but also a healthy and nutritious one. The herb is easy to incorporate into your diet and has a variety of health benefits, making it a must-have for anyone who is looking to eat well and live well. So why not start incorporating French Tarragon into your meals today and see the difference it can make to your health and well-being?

Finally, French Tarragon is also an attractive herb that can be used in landscaping and gardening. The herb has delicate, feathery leaves that have a pleasing aroma, and its yellow or green flowers are attractive to bees and other beneficial insects.

French Tarragon is a hardy herb that can be grown in a variety of soils, as long as they are well-drained. The herb prefers full sun to partial shade, and can be grown in pots or in the ground. French Tarragon is also a relatively low-maintenance herb, and requires only minimal pruning and watering to keep it healthy and thriving.

In addition to its culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses, French Tarragon is also a great herb to grow for educational purposes. The herb can be used to teach children about the importance of herbs and their many uses, and it is a great way to introduce them to the world of gardening and the joys of growing their own food.

In conclusion, French Tarragon is a versatile and attractive herb that has a variety of uses, both culinary and medicinal. The herb is easy to grow, low-maintenance, and healthy, making it a great addition to any garden, whether you are an experienced gardener or just starting out. So why not add some French Tarragon to your garden today and experience all the benefits this amazing herb has to offer!

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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