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Home > Spice Producing Areas > Leaves
Leaves - Spice Producing Areas
LeavesBasil is mostly grown in the lower hills of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and is cultivated throughout India. It is also cultivated in Southern France, Egypt, Belgium, Hungary, and other Mediterranean countries and also in USA. The dried leaves and tender four sided stems are used as spice for flavouring and for extraction of essential oil. Apart from flavouring numerous foods, it is used for seasoning in tomato paste products. Perfumery compounds also use sweet basil oil widely.

Laurel leaves or bay leaves are dried leaves of Laurus nobilis Linn. They grow in the Mediterranean countries and are cultivated in Greece, Spain, Portugal Asia Minor and Central America. It is grown in India as fancy garden plant.

Tejpat is grown mainly in the Jaintia Parganas of Srihatta district and some areas of North Eastern India close to Himalayas. Many plantations of this tract are self-sown; a few are planted.

Chervil or Salad chervil is an annual herb 45 to 60 cm high, native of Europe, suited to temperate and higher elevations in the tropics.

Chive or cive, a perennial herb belonging to onion family, is a native of Europe and adjoining part of Asia. In India it is popularly grown as a garden crop, but occasionally eaten as green vegetable as alternate to onion leaves. Chive is raised in many parts of the world as a vegetable or herb of the home garden, where its small size and great adaptability make it more useful than the common onion. Their tufted habit, attractive green foliage, and purple flowers make them useful as ornamental edging plants or for growth in clumps among other herbs. Chives are completely immune to cold, can withstand drought and grow well in a wide variety of soils.

Curry leaves are derived from a handsome, aromatic, more or less deciduous shrub (0.9 meters) or a small tree, up to 6 meters in height and 15 to 40 cm in diameter, found almost throughout India and in the Andaman Islands up to an altitude of 1,500 meters. It is commonly found in forests, often as gregarious undergrowth along the foot of the Himalayas from the Ravi to Sikkim and Assam. It is also found in West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, entire South India, West India, North India and South India. It is much cultivated for its aromatic leaves and for ornamental value throughout India.

Hyssop grows wild in countries bordering the Mediterranean. It is cultivated in Europe, particularly in Southern France, mainly for its essential oil; it is also grown in gardens for ornamental purposes. In India, it has been successfully cultivated at Baramullah (altitude 1675 meters) in Jammu & Kashmir. The plant thrives in light rich soil in hill stations. Seeds, cuttings and divisions may propagate it.

Marjoram is a native of Southern Europe, it grows in West Asia, South and North America, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, England and North Africa. Organised cultivation of Marjoram for export production is yet to begin.

Billilotan is a perennial herbaceous plant of the mint family, with a strong, agreeable odor; reminiscent of lemon and that is why it is also called Lemon Balm. It is evergreen, 30 to 60 cm in height and lasts for two years or longer. Some scholars are of the opinion that, it lasts for ten years but is normally maintained for four years. The blossoms are small and of white or light rose color. The leaf or the herb is used as a spice and flavor for the food items. A native of the countries bordering Northern Mediterranean, it grows wild and is also cultivated in gardens as a medicinal herb. It has been naturalized in the USA and is found in the temperate Himalayas.

Thyme or Thymus serpyllum Linn is found in the Western temperate Himalayas, from Kashmir to Kumaun at an altitude of 1525 meters above sea level. Thymus vulgaris Linn., is grown in Europe, Australia and North Asia. It is now cultivated in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and other parts of Europe and also in Great Britain, Canada, North Africa, and the USA. It is a common garden plant that lives for many years under good culture.

Mint belongs to the genus Mentha which consists of about 40 species of aromatic perennial herbs distributed mostly in the North hemisphere, and to be specific in Europe, America, Japan, China, Brazil and Taiwan. In India, about 8 species of Mentha are reported to occur or grow.

Origanum is not popular or commonly used spice in India. In India, it is found in the temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim, at altitudes of 1500 to 3600 meters. Out side India it is cultivated in Greece, Italy and Mexico and is often referred to as Mexican sage.

Parsley, a native of Sardinia, wildly and extensively cultivated in the Mediterranean region and the USA.

Sage belongs to mint family. Its dried leaves are popular as the spice and used for flavoring foods. It was traditionally unknown in India either as a spice or even as a plant. But during recent years attempt has been made to cultivate Sage in Kashmir and Himalayan region. It grows and cultivated in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Great Britain, Canada and the USA.

Savory grows in Southern France, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, the USA and many parts of Europe.

Tarragon is a perennial herb found in Western Tibet (4265 to 4880 meters) and in Lahoul and Spiti of Himachal Pradesh. It is distributed in Afghanistan, Western Asia, South and Middle Russia. It is cultivated in France, Spain, and temperate zones of the USA as well as throughout the colder New England area.

Rosemary is a native of Southern Europe and grows wild on dry rocky hills in the Mediterranean region. It grows and cultivated in Spain, Portugal and other parts of Europe as well as in the USA. It is now being cultivated in the temperate Himalayas and Nilgiri hills with dry to moderate moist climate.

Peppermint plant was not traditionally known in India. It is cultivated on an extensive scale in America, Australia, England and other European countries. The plant was first introduced in the Nilgiris in 1818 A.D and since then, it has been raised in Karnataka, Kashmir, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh. Peppermint is a perennial glabrous, strongly scented herb grown or cultivated in temperate regions of Europe, Asia etc.
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