All Things Gardening forum: Speaking of accurate IDs...

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 1073, Replies: 31 » Jump to the end
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Aug 20, 2014 12:28 PM CST
I know better now.

I ordered some seeds, from a company I've ordered from before, and planted some in small seed starting containers. I did notice the seed packet didn't have the Latin binomial for Tarragon, but I figured oh well, I'll check the variety later on.

I now have four little four-inch pots of these perky Tarragon starts, so I went searching for the correct name, thinking I'd look at some information before planting these in the ground.

The website said the variety was Artemisia dracunculus "Sativa". So, happy gardener here googled that up to have a look see.

Found out that Sativa doesn't produce viable seed. Confused So, I looked through a page of Google images and found that the one that is propagated from seed is actually Tagetes lucida, or Texas Tarragon. Which is really the plant I'd remembered having once before, and wanted, for the yellow flowers and wonderful scent (though it's not considered "appropriate" as an ornamental by some.)

I sure hope that's what I actually have. I called the company I got it from, got a message asking me to email or LEAVE a message (no hold for the next free representative there!) So, I hung up and composed and sent an email, with the link to the Missouri Botanical Garden's website, where I found the info that French Tarragon does not produce viable seeds, and asked, what do I have?

I then called back and this time, got a live person, but she knew only what it said on the website. However, she assured me she would respond to my email as soon as she had an answer.

Glare

I won't buy seeds from them again, that's for sure.
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Aug 20, 2014 12:29 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #683937 (1)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Aug 20, 2014 1:08 PM CST
Good idea, Kyla. I won't buy any seeds that don't have the botanical name on the packet, either. That's how you really know what you're getting.

Btw. here's the link to your Texas Tarragon in our database. Lots of pictures, and nice comments on this one.

Mexican Mint Marigold (Tagetes lucida)

Looks like you'll be able to tell the difference pretty easily. The Texas Tarragon has much bigger, greener leaves than French Tarragon. Plus the nice yellow flowers, eventually of course.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Aug 20, 2014 1:26 PM CST
There's also "Russian tarragon", which is often what tarragon from seed is, as opposed to the better tasting French tarragon that rarely seeds.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Aug 20, 2014 1:41 PM CST
Your Tagetes lucida/Texas Tarragon is known in the Latino community as Flor de los muertos. (see link) They use the same common name for plain old yellow or orange Marigold, also. Very popular plants for the Day of the Dead festivals and celebrations.

http://herbalistics.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=57

I find that the Tagetes lucida requires more water than most of my other plants.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Aug 20, 2014 2:01 PM CST
Thanks, folks. I had looked in the database here before posting, in fact. I'm pretty sure the Texas tarragon is the one I've grown in the past (and in the west actually.)

If the Russian tarragon is what I have, well that will be a new twist! What's its botanical name?

I'm still waiting for an email response from that company, by the way. Seems they could have gotten some information for me by now.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Aug 20, 2014 2:03 PM CST
Huh. This says the Russian, also Artemisa dracunculus, v. Pursch? also does not do well from seed.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/newsletters/hortupdate/20...

Edit: I gather that it does have seeds though, as I found a site selling this variety specifically. The plant looks a little different than what I have which I still think is the marigold.
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Aug 20, 2014 2:07 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #683991 (6)
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Aug 20, 2014 2:42 PM CST
kylaluaz said:Huh. This says the Russian, also Artemisa dracunculus, v. Pursch? also does not do well from seed.


The "aggie" article gives Russian tarragon as Artemisia dracunculoides Pursch but I think from looking at a few sites the preferred name is Artemisia dracunculus . For French tarragon, it is the same genus and species botanical name plus either var. sativa or 'Sativa' depending if the author considers it a varietas (variety) or a cultivar. I didn't investigate to see which of those is correct, and the above is as far as I got in trying to sort out the correct botanical names, it's really the taste test that counts! Yours presumably isn't French tarragon because you were able to get seeds that grew. Is the nearest we have to a herb forum where one could ask the edibles forum?

Pursch after the name is the author of the name A. dracunculoides, it isn't a variety/cultivar name. You can tell because it is in Roman and not italics (a variety name would be in italics) and doesn't have single quotes, a cultivar name is always Roman with single quotes. It's common to put the author (originator) of a scientific name after it in technical articles.

Edit: Oops, forgot to include this link to an article about tarragon from the Herb Society of America:

http://www.herbsociety.org/factsheets/tarragon.pdf





[Last edited by sooby - Aug 20, 2014 2:58 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #684020 (7)
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Aug 20, 2014 3:33 PM CST
Thanks, sooby. What another rabbit hole! I am getting the "dracunculoides" spelling, and the information that as (I think it was) you said, it is sold as Tarragon seed (though one article did say it doesn't set seed easily, another source said deadhead it if you don't want a lot more of it!)

Also, I did hear back from the company, who said the correct variety is "dracunculoides" though they didn't say Russian or Pursch (I have seen two spellings of his name too.)

Edit: And, I clearly have much more to learn about nomenclature, wow.

So I guess I do have the Russian one. I'll grow it out and see how it does.

And I am going to look for some seeds of that Tagetes, too, because that is what I really wanted, but my memory didn't kick in strong enough with the info I needed to actually find some! Whistling

The company is also voluntarily refunding my payment for that packet. Nice of them. And they say they have corrected their website also.

Good.
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Aug 20, 2014 3:39 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #684045 (8)
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Aug 20, 2014 3:42 PM CST
@kylaluaz, have you posted photos of the plants on ATP? It would be interesting to watch them as they grow.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Aug 20, 2014 3:44 PM CST
I did but they are hardly identifiable in those, I was crowing about my seedlings in a post in Mid Atlantic Gardening a little while ago (like last week maybe.)

I tried to get a couple of good pictures today but the light was wrong. I agree, it would be fun to share their development. I'll get some good pictures maybe tomorrow, and then as they go.

Good idea!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 20, 2014 4:15 PM CST
>> The website said the variety was Artemisia dracunculus "Sativa". So, happy gardener here googled that up to have a look see.

>> Found out that Sativa doesn't produce viable seed.

I don't know whether this applies to the case you described, but I think that seeds are often sold of plants that "don't come true from seed". That would be true of any F1 hybrid variety.

There are probably other hybrids that don't produce any seed, or only produce sterile seeds.

Yet a vendor could still sell seeds of that variety - the product of crosses between two parental strains, each of which is OP (breeds true). They produce salable F1 seed that is viable, that reliably produces the named F1 hybrid cultivar. However, that F1 plant can't breed true with itself, or might produce only sterile seeds or no seeds at all.

Does that sound right?
Could it be relevant to what you described?
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Aug 20, 2014 4:27 PM CST
Rick, that occurred to me too, but I don't know how to investigate it. The first information I found that made me wonder what was going on was from http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...

This site says: "Since any seed produced is generally sterile, French tarragon should be propagated by cuttings or division."

Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Aug 20, 2014 4:48 PM CST
Kyla, I was equally confused trying to correctly ID both French and Russian tarragon (I have both) and was told that their accepted name is the same for both even though they have obvious (to me) differences. Artemisia dracunculus. One is much coarser than the other but apparently they share DNA. I bought them both as seedlings so can't speak to the viability of their seed, and neither had a cultivar on the label, so I have no clue if one might be 'Sativa' while the other may be something else or just a species. Both are marginally hardy for me and I often have to replace them in the spring. Zuzu helped me sort it out, you may want to check with her.

I also have Tagetes lucida which is definitely a different plant than A. dracunculus. I call that one Mexican tarragon and as its name implies, it has a slight psychotropic property. It has a really nice anise scent and looks like a tall bushy marigold. It is either marginally hardy or self-sows for me - one year I think it over-wintered and the next it appeared to self-sow (came up in the same general area but not the exact same location).
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Aug 20, 2014 4:59 PM CST
Oh, thank you! The voice of recent direct experience. Much appreciated. Perhaps you'll have some good input when I get pictures posted and can tell me if it's apparent to you that this is the Russian variety, or not.

I don't entirely trust the information I got from this company, still! I have the feeling they told me something to appease me (though I wasn't rude or anything, just required an answer) and it may or may not actually be the truth.

I definitely do want some Tagetes, however, so I'll have to get some seeds of that (I bet Horizon carries them, and their ID info I do trust!) and compare the plants.

Green Grin!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Aug 20, 2014 5:00 PM CST
What I am reading on various links and sites is that the Artemisia dracunculus 'Sativa' type does not produce seeds (and/or does not produce viable seeds) and must be propagated (send the children out of the room a moment) asexually, by cuttings or divisions.
It can only be purchased as a plant.

The Artemisia dracunculus (without the Sativa) does make viable seeds.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
frankrichards16
Aug 20, 2014 5:05 PM CST
Are these plants invasive?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 20, 2014 5:18 PM CST
>> This site says: "Since any seed produced is generally sterile, French tarragon should be propagated by cuttings or division."

It sounds like French tarragon doesn't come from F1 seeds (from two other lines), but instead never comes from seed. Finally Googling, I come to the same conclusion you did.

I do think that some vendors think "the right ID is whatever sells best". I have noticed "seed catalog name drift", usually only in common or informal names, to be whatever is deemed more popular that year.

For example, "mustard" is unpopular, but "wasabi-like" is popular.

One nursery advertised Lavatera thuringiaca 'Barnsley', a fancy "periclinal chimaera". But they sent plain old common Lavatera thuringiaca 'Rosea'. True, all 6 might have reverted while in the mail!


Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
Image
Catmint20906
Aug 20, 2014 5:22 PM CST
hi, Kyla. I have Tagetes lucida (also called Mexican Mint Marigold). I grew it from seed this past spring. It was very easy to grow. It does not give any indication of being invasive but apparently does produce seed. I'd be very happy to share some seeds with you! Plus, I think the seed packets were easy to find at local nurseries.

I totally agree about not buying seed packets (or plants) from companies/stores that don't provide clear botanical names. Glare



PS--I look forward to seeing photos of your tarragon plant, Kyla!
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
[Last edited by Catmint20906 - Aug 20, 2014 5:23 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #684118 (18)
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Aug 20, 2014 5:39 PM CST
Gosh. Greene, that's about where it looks to land for me also.

And I am still not clear the distinction between dracunculus and dracunculoides. It is the latter term that the company I purchased from is offering as a correction.

Frank, I believe it depends entirely on which variety you grow and where you live. I did read one comment which I doubt I could find again that said it spread more than was desired. Honestly, if you are in Michigan I doubt any of these would be invasive for you, but if you want to check them out and it's a concern, grow one in a big container, why not?

Rick, yes, it's a caveat emptor world! Green Grin!

Catmint, I would love some seeds. I may even have something to offer in exchange. There's a seedhead or two of white Monarda getting fully dry downstairs, for instance. But I don't know its name, only the plant I took the seedheads from (with permission, of course.)
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Aug 20, 2014 5:41 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #684134 (19)
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Aug 20, 2014 7:16 PM CST
kylaluaz said:

And I am still not clear the distinction between dracunculus and dracunculoides. It is the latter term that the company I purchased from is offering as a correction.


A. dracunculoides is Russian tarragon, A. dracunculus 'Sativa' is French. This article from Penn State explains the situation. I'd quote the relevant paragraph but I'm on an iPod currently and it won't seem to paste text into the ATP text box.

http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/news/2014/2014-her...

It gets complicated when one starts looking into the preferred botanical names and synonyms so best to ignore that aspect.
[Last edited by sooby - Aug 20, 2014 7:37 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #684203 (20)

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« All Things Gardening forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Dianthus 'Nyewood Cream'"