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A to Z herbs: Aztec Sweet Herb

The botanical name for this pretty spreading herb with white flowers and intensely sweet leaves (and native to Central America) is Lippia Dulcis.

 

This plant can start in a 9 x 9 cm pot and be planted 8 cm depth. Aztec Sweet Herb Is an interesting culminate herb and is a nice trailing herb for containers. It has sweet leaves but the leaves do contain Camphor which can be toxic in large amounts. The leaves of this plant contain sweet compounds but can leave an “aftertaste” which some people dislike. The small white flowers protrude above the leaves, and as a “trailing plant,” it looks grand in hanging baskets over the summer months!

 



The plant heights will range from 10-30 cm; it is considered a “tender” plant that loves sun. The soil should be well-drained and more alkaline. The flower color is white, and the flowering period is from May to August.

 

Balloon Flower (blue/white choices)

 

A hardy perennial with a hardy history in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This flower, however, is often grown just for the pure attractiveness of its flower!

 

The botanical name for it is Platycodon Grandifloras. It usually starts out in a 9 x 9 cm pot that is 8 cm deep. It comes with blue flowers and also with white flowers. It has medicinal uses and is quite easy to grow.

 

Though a medicinal plant in other countries, in the UK it is mainly grown for beauty in the garden. The unopened petals of the flower strongly resemble a hot air balloon and because it is easy to take care of and maintain, this plant is a great way for children to develop their love of planting and acquiring a green thumb status in the process!

 

The growth expectancy would be 10-30 cm, it is considered hardy but needs full or mostly full sun, and the soil can be normal to alkaline. Flowers come in the blue and white version with the flowering period from July to August.

 

This striking little herb does not get very tall and tends to come up like “clockwork” each year. It likes a soil that doesn’t dry out in summer and will grow in full sun and partial shade, and in very hot summers enjoys shade during the hottest part of the day. It spreads slowly in the ground to form a nice patch or can be grown successfully in a container.

 

Native to East Asia, the roots of Balloon Flower, known as Jie Geng, have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat coughs, sore throats and ailing respiratory systems. 

 

The root can be dried and then simmered in water to make an herbal tea after its second year of growth. The roots are widely used in Korea for culinary dishes such as soups and pickles and in Japan, the young leaves are added to salads.

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