Levisticum officinale

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 1 Professionals
Common Name: lovage
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Apiaceae
Native Range: Eastern Mediterranean
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Greenish-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Suggested Use: Herb, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Fruit: Edible
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, loamy soil in full sun. Periodic hard cut-back of some stems during the growing season will encourage production of a continuing supply of fresh, new leaves. Easily self-seeds if seeds are not harvested or otherwise removed. Propagate by root division or from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Levisticum officinale, commonly called lovage, is a culinary herb that is often grown in herb gardens for the celery-like flavor of its leaves, stems, roots and seeds. A somewhat imposing plant that can reach 6' in height. Small umbels of tiny, greenish-yellow flowers appear in spring. Ternately compound, deeply divided, dark green leaves resemble flattened parsley or celery leaves. Leaves are used in flavoring salads, soups, sauces, stews and vegetables. Seeds are used in meat dishes, casseroles and soups. Roots can be grated for use in salads or used to make tea. Although lovage is primarily considered an herb, the stems can be blanched and used as a vegetable. Oil was formerly used in Europe in the preparation of a love potion. Has escaped cultivation and naturalized in many parts of the U.S.

Genus name comes from the Greek lithostikon that was used for an unidentified plant.

Specific epithet means sold in shops.

Problems

Potential insect pests include tarnished plant bug, celery worm and leaf miner. Potential disease problems include early blight, late blight and leaf spots.

Garden Uses

Herb garden. Also has ornamental value and good height for a back corner of the border or for naturalized areas or wild gardens.