Tarragon, or Tarragon - both in salad and in drink
Tarragon, or Tarragon, a plant beloved by many, is better known in the botanical literature as Tarragon wormwood (Artemisia dracunculus) from the vast genus Wormwood of the family Astra (Asteraceae) The homeland of tarragon is considered to be Southern Siberia, Mongolia. In the wild state it is found throughout Europe (except the north), in Asia Minor, East and Central Asia, Mongolia, China, North America, the Caucasus, as well as in the forest-steppe and steppe regions of Ukraine.
As a spicy-aromatic plant, tarragon has been known to man since ancient times. From ancient times it was cultivated in Syria, and the Syrian name of the plant "tarragon" is used not only in many countries of the East, but also beyond. In Western Europe, as a cultivated plant known since the Middle Ages. Tarragon is mentioned in Georgian written sources of the 17th century, and in Russia it is found in culture from the 18th century. called "dragoon grass." Currently, tarragon is often cultivated in gardens as a spicy plant. In our country, several varieties of tarragon are bred.
Description of Tarragon
Tarragon, or Tarragon is a perennial herb. Rhizome with underground shoots, thick, woody. The stems are erect, branched in the middle and upper parts, up to 1.5 m high. The leaves are linear-lanceolate, the middle and upper stalks are whole, the lower ones are two-three-parted. The flowers are yellow, in spherical baskets, collected on the tops of the central stem and lateral branches in panicled narrow dense inflorescences. Seeds are small, flat, brown.
Cultivation of tarragon
Tarragon is relatively unpretentious to soil conditions, although it grows better on loose, rich and moist soils.
You can not place it on too damp areas where it is possible to soak the plants. For him, you need to take open, well-lit areas. Tarragon is cultivated in one place for 10-15 years.
It is recommended to propagate tarragon in a vegetative way - by grafting and division of rhizomes. Seed propagation, as a rule, is not used, since in plants propagated by seeds, the aroma weakens in the first generation, and in the fourth or fifth generation it completely disappears and a little bitterness appears.
In the conditions of the non-chernozem zone, green tarragon cuttings are effective. Cuttings are carried out in open ground in dive boxes filled with a light, loose fertile substrate, consisting of equal parts of humus and peat, with the addition of a small amount of sand. In the third decade of May - the first decade of June, cuttings 10-15 cm long are cut from the uterine plants and planted in dive boxes to a depth of 4-5 cm with a distance in rows and between rows of 5-6 cm. Rooting of cuttings occurs in 10-15 days . In the third decade of July - the first decade of August, rooted cuttings are planted in a permanent place. Plants are placed at a distance of 70-80 cm between rows and 30-35 cm in a row.
When multiplying tarragon by division, the rhizome before planting is cut into pieces so that each one has buds and roots, and is planted in a permanent place with a feeding area of 70 x 30 cm, with mandatory watering. This method of reproduction is used only in the spring.
Tarragon is harvested three to four times during the growing season, cutting plants at the level of 10-15 cm from the soil surface. Shoots begin to be cut in the spring when they reach a height of 20-25 cm.
Use of tarragon
Tarragon leaves contain vitamin C, carotene, rutin, and other biologically active substances. In fresh tarragon herbs up to 0.7% of essential oil.
Essential oil and green tarragon are used in the canning industry for flavoring vinegar, marinades, cheeses, salting cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and zucchini, mushrooms, pickled cabbage, soaking apples and pears. Tarragon is part of the mustard "Canteen", the drink "Tarragon", various spicy mixtures.
Tarragon is almost devoid of bitterness, which is characteristic of many representatives of the genus wormwood, and has a weakly flavorful aroma reminiscent of anise, and a sharp piquant tart taste.
Young tender fragrant greenery of the plant is a storehouse of vitamins, especially in the early spring. Tarragon can be used as greens to the table, and also added to all spring salads, sauces, soups, okroshka, in meat, vegetable, fish dishes, broths. Fresh herbs are put in a dish immediately before serving, dry spice - 1-2 minutes before cooking.
To prepare tarragon marinade, chop the greens finely, put them in bottles, fill them with vinegar, and close them tightly. After a while, a strong extract is obtained, which is used as a seasoning for food.
Tarragon can also be used in dried form, although when dried it loses its flavor somewhat.
Useful properties of tarragon
The aerial part of the plant, its leaves and flowers are widely used as a medicine. Scientific medicine recommends Tarragon as a carotene-containing and anthelmintic agent, thanks to a large amount of rutin, it helps strengthen the walls of blood vessels, and it can be used for various vascular disorders.
Tall, dense, dark green tarragon bushes maintain decorativeness throughout the season, are excellent for background plantings in the background of flower beds.