Shrubby plant from 1 to 3 feet tall with 2- to 3-inch-long leaves. Perennial. Zones 2-24, H1-H2.
BEST CULINARY VARIETIES: 'Berggarten' produces few or no flowers and is considered the best culinary type by herb professionals. For a milder flavor, grow S. officinalis, S. o. 'Icterina', or S. o. 'Purpurascens'.
GROWING TIP: Keep plant on the dry side once established. Avoid planting near a lawn where the soil stays wet. Give afternoon shade in hot climates.
HARVEST TIP: Cut just above where new growth emerges; don't cut into old, woody growth.
USES: Apples, beans, breads, butters, cheeses, chowders, fish stock, game stuffings, gravies, lamb, marinades, pork, poultry, soups, stews, and tomatoes.