Lovage can grow to 6ft.- with yellow flowers. Its leaves are dark green, shiny, and much like carrot, but wider like celery. Young leaves are used to flavor soups, casseroles, sauces and marinades. Europeans lightly saute it as a green vegetable, and the seeds are used to flavor baked goods. The roots can be peeled and used as a vegetable.
Lovage is best started in late Summer, with seedlings transplanted in late Fall or very early the next Spring. Very prolific, usually only one plant is needed to supply a family with seasonings and leaves. Grows just about anywhere except very dry and sunny spots. Plan ahead, as it can live for up to 20 years in ideal conditions! Divide roots every fourth year when shoots appear. Needs very fertile soil for best production, aroma and flavor. Amend soil with rich compost or liquid fish emulsion.
Lovage is native to the Balkans and Mediterranean, was introduced to Europe and Britain by the Romans, as it was one of the most prominent flavors in their cuisine. It is variously called Garden lovage, Bladder seed and Love Parsley. The latter name arose from the belief that it has aphrodisiac properties.
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