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Non-GMO
Easy to Grow
Seed Saver Approved

Russian Tarragon

Quick Facts:

  • Easy-to-grow tarragon alternative
  • Mild, earthy flavor (see description)
  • Vigorous growth habit
  • Hardy perennial
  • 70-80 days to harvest

View full description

Quantity: Packet (250 Seeds)

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We ship to all areas of North America including the United States, its territories and outlying islands, and Canada. International orders may incur an additional charge to cover the handling of customs paperwork. Returns are accepted within 30 days of receipt. Full warranty information can be found here.

Russian Tarragon

More about Russian Tarragon

Artemisia dracunculoides

Russian Tarragon is a relative of the more popular French Tarragon that, unlike its French cousin, is quite easy to start from seed.  Russian Tarragon has a bit of a polarizing reputation.  If you are fond of the strong, anise-like flavor that French Tarragon imparts to your dishes, you will likely consider this Russian type a tarragon imposter.  However, if you are not a fan of aniseed or licorice-type flavors but are looking for an easy-to-grow herb to add a subtle punch to your dishes, you may find Russian Tarragon a more pleasant alternative.

Russian Tarragon is a vigorous, woody perennial that grows 3 to 5-feet tall if overwintered.  Originating from Russia, it is quite cold-toleran... More

Less

Artemisia dracunculoides

Russian Tarragon is a relative of the more popular French Tarragon that, unlike its French cousin, is quite easy to start from seed.  Russian Tarragon has a bit of a polarizing reputation.  If you are fond of the strong, anise-like flavor that French Tarragon imparts to your dishes, you will likely consider this Russian type a tarragon imposter.  However, if you are not a fan of aniseed or licorice-type flavors but are looking for an easy-to-grow herb to add a subtle punch to your dishes, you may find Russian Tarragon a more pleasant alternative.

Russian Tarragon is a vigorous, woody perennial that grows 3 to 5-feet tall if overwintered.  Originating from Russia, it is quite cold-tolerant and can endure even the most severe freezes.  Russian Tarragon's thin, spiky, medium green leaves have an earthy, almost sage-like flavor with very subtle anise undertones.  They are well-suited for using in salads and soups, and for making sauces and marinades to season meat.  Due to its vigorous nature, Russian Tarragon is reported by some to have weedy tendencies.  Trim spent flowers if spreading is a concern.  Rhizome growth is quite manageable.  Approximately 70-80 days to harvest.  Each packet contains a minimum of 250 seeds.


Artemisia dracunculoides

Russian Tarragon is a relative of the more popular French Tarragon that, unlike its French cousin, is quite easy to start from seed.  Russian Tarragon has a bit of a polarizing reputation.  If you are fond of the strong, anise-like flavor that French Tarragon imparts to your dishes, you will likely consider this Russian type a tarragon imposter.  However, if you are not a fan of aniseed or licorice-type flavors but are looking for an easy-to-grow he... read more

read less

Artemisia dracunculoides

Russian Tarragon is a relative of the more popular French Tarragon that, unlike its French cousin, is quite easy to start from seed.  Russian Tarragon has a bit of a polarizing reputation.  If you are fond of the strong, anise-like flavor that French Tarragon imparts to your dishes, you will likely consider this Russian type a tarragon imposter.  However, if you are not a fan of aniseed or licorice-type flavors but are looking for an easy-to-grow herb to add a subtle punch to your dishes, you may find Russian Tarragon a more pleasant alternative.

Russian Tarragon is a vigorous, woody perennial that grows 3 to 5-feet tall if overwintered.  Originating from Russia, it is quite cold-tolerant and can endure even the most severe freezes.  Russian Tarragon's thin, spiky, medium green leaves have an earthy, almost sage-like flavor with very subtle anise undertones.  They are well-suited for using in salads and soups, and for making sauces and marinades to season meat.  Due to its vigorous nature, Russian Tarragon is reported by some to have weedy tendencies.  Trim spent flowers if spreading is a concern.  Rhizome growth is quite manageable.  Approximately 70-80 days to harvest.  Each packet contains a minimum of 250 seeds.


Child holding beans
Child holding heirloom beans

How to Grow Russian Tarragon

Russian tarragon thrives in well-drained soil with moderate fertility. It prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade. Water sparingly, as the herb is drought-tolerant and thrives with little care.

Start Russian tarragon seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost in peat pots or a light seedling mix. Plant seeds on the soil surface or no more than 1/16 inch deep as tarragon requires sunlight for germination. Alternatively, Russian tarragon may be direct-sown when soil temperatures reach 60-70°F. Germination typically occurs in 7-14 days.

Transplant hardened seedlings outdoors after danger of frost has passed. Space plants at least 18" in all directions. In humid climates, space 24-36" to provide ample air circulation. Keep watered until established.

Insect Pests

None of concern

Diseases & Other Problems

Tarragon is susceptible to a specific fungus known as tarragon rust (Puccinia dracunculina). Ensuring appropriate plant spacing is essential to facilitate air circulation around each plant. Similar to other plants prone to fungal issues, it is advisable to water at ground level. If overhead watering is necessary, do it early in the day to permit thorough drying as the air temperature rises. Adhering to these precautions will also reduce the risks of various fungi, including powdery mildew and root rot.

Harvest Russian tarragon by cutting stems just above ground level, usually in late spring or early summer when the flavor is strongest. For ongoing harvesting, prune regularly but leave some stems to support plant growth. To store, dry leaves by bundling and hanging in a cool, dry place. Alternatively, freeze chopped leaves in an airtight container. Both methods preserve the herb for later culinary use.

CONSIDERATIONS:

Russian tarragon is an unimproved native herb that is botanically very similar to the wild tarragon found naturally distributed throughout the United States. Furthermore, there is some confusion surrounding the classification of Russian and wild tarragon, with their scientific names sometimes being used interchangeably. Therefore, we are not sure if interspecific hybridization occurs or that such events would be of any consequence to seed savers. Our best guess is that physical or artificial isolation is likely not necessary for the average seed saver. Gardeners need not be concerned about accidental crossing with French or Mexican tarragon as the former rarely flowers and the latter is of a different genus.

HARVESTING SEED:

To save seeds from Russian tarragon, allow the plant's flowers to mature and form seeds. Once the seed heads are dry, gently shake or rub them to release seeds. Collect the seeds and store them in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. Ensure the seeds are fully dry before storage to prevent mold or deterioration.

SEED LONGETIVITY:

Russian tarragon seeds can remain viable for several years if stored under ideal conditions.

Russian Tarragon

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