Dracocephalum moldavica (80 days) Open-pollinated. Annual. The students at Troy Howard fell in love right away with this tea and medicine plant from Eurasia. 18" plants send up purple-blue flower spikes that bumblebees love. Dry the tops (leaves and flowers) for a bright lemony tea. Unlike lemon balm, it keeps its aroma well when dried. Cutting encourages re-blooms: students get two or three harvests each summer. Remember to let a few plants go to seed in August so you can collect seeds to share! Surface sow in pots and set out after danger of frost; or direct sow 2 weeks before last frost. Needs light to germinate. Students measure 1⁄16 teaspoon per packet: approximately 100 seeds. NEW!
About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neanderthals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.
Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.
Using herbs: Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year. To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.
Culture: Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica, and these become available in August or September.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.