Herbs of the Mediterranean


The St. Louis Herb Society Herb Sale returns to the Missouri Botanical Garden this spring.

Member Presale: April 28 | 5–8 p.m.
Public Sale: April 29–30: 9 a.m.–5 p.m while supplies last
Garden admission required | Free for Garden members

An Annual Tradition Returns

Offering over 6,000 popular herbs and many hard-to-find selections, the St. Louis Herb Society Herb Sale is springtime tradition at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The 2022 sale brings the event back to the Garden as an in-person sale for the first time since 2019.

In addition to shopping the vast selection of herb plants available for purchase, visitors to the sale have the opportunity to meet Herb Society members and receive expert advice on selecting, planting, growing, and using herbs.

Photo by Erik Anderson

Herbs around the Mediterranean

The 2022 sale focuses on herbs of the Mediterranean in conjunction with the upcoming book Herbs around the Mediterranean, written by the St. Louis Herb Society and published by the Missouri Botanical Garden Press, which will be available later in 2022. Inspired by a class held at the Garden in 2017, the book includes 120 herbs, with such well known names as basil, lavender, and rosemary alongside those with such intriguing titles Good King Henry, bistort, and costmary.  

Photo by Cassidy Moody

Shoppers at the 2022 sale will encounter a myriad of choices when it comes to the most well-known Mediterranean herbs, including 12 different varieties of basil, 10 choices in lavender, nine different mints, five types of oregano, six choices of rosemary, seven sages, and nine varieties of thyme. New to the sale this year are a recent basil introduction—Rutgers Devotion—and two sought-after lavenders—Phenomenal and Primavera—as well as Thai mint. 

  • Rutgers Devotion is a product of Rutgers University’s program to produce specialty seeds with disease resistance. Rutgers Devotion, now available to home gardeners, is an aromatic and sweet Genovese-type basil, growing 18-20 inches tall, that offers superior resistance to downy mildew. Ideal for making pesto, the leaves can be cut and harvested numerous times over many months.

  • Phenomenal lavender has its name for a reason. It’s a French hybrid that will tolerate both harsh winters and hot, humid summers. Reliably hardy to zone 5, it was tested across the country and found to be more tolerant of moisture and heat than most other lavenders. Medium in size, it grows 24-32 inches tall and wide. The highly fragrant blossoms first appear on tall stems in mid-summer with some flowering lingering into early fall. Another plus—it is deer resistant.  

  • Primavera Spanish lavender differs from more traditional English and French lavenders producing pinecone-type blossoms topped with reddish purple bracts resembling rabbit ears or tiny flags. Showing great heat tolerance, it will continue flowering through the middle of summer. Primavera stays small, growing 16–18 inches tall and 14–16 inches wide with an upright shape, making it ideal for raised beds and containers in places where garden soil doesn’t allow for sharp drainage. Recommended for USDA Zones 7–9, it should be treated as an annual in St. Louis and grown for its fragrance and prolific, long-flowering habit.  

  • Thai Mint is fresh and aromatic with a strong menthol flavor. It will tolerate both full sun and partial shade. An increasingly popular ingredient in Thai cuisine, where it is known as bae saranea, it is often paired with Thai basil. Like all mints, it is a vigorous grower that spreads by rhizomes and is best grown in pots to curtail unwanted spread. 

Visit The St. Louis Herb Society website and click on Herb Sale for a detailed list of plants, descriptions, growing conditions, and pricing for the 2022 Herb Sale. 

Lucyann Boston
The St. Louis Herb Society

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