Levisticum officinalis. Perennial. 4-6'.
Lovage forms a statuesque plant in the garden, yellowish green umbel flowers grow at the end of the stalk that can sometimes exceed 6 feet. Dark green leaves of Lovage resemble Celery leaves but have a distinct flavor unlike celery. Leaves and stalks, which are hollow, are used as a celery substitute. A few fresh leaves in split pea soup will add a unique touch. Anytime a recipe calls for celery use lovage without worrying about strings common on celery. A tall, handsome plant.
Planting Directions: Sow seed indoors 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting to the garden. Plant seed ¼” deep in sterile seed starting mix with a soil temperature of 65° to 80°. Sow seed outdoors in early summer or late fall. Transplant seedlings outdoors after your last frost. Plant in a sunny or lightly shaded location in well drained soil amended with rich compost or a general garden fertilizer. To harvest leaves, cut back the stems before blooms form. Leaves can be used either fresh, dried, or frozen (blanch before freezing) to impart a celery like taste.