Lovage is part of the Levisticum genus. Its scientific name is Levisticum officinale. The botanical name epithet for Lovage (officinale) means 'used medicinally'.
Lovage is an erect herbaceous perennial that produces greenish yellow flowers. The leaves are used as a herb and the root as a vegetable or grated for use in salads. It has the smell and flavor of celery, somewhat. The seeds can be used as a spice similar to fennel seeds.2
Blooms appear in these approximate colours: Green-yellow. The mature flowers are of a clustered form.
Lovage grows as a perennial and is a flowering herb. Being a perennial plant, it tends to grow best over several years (approx 3 years and greater).
Normally reaching to a mature height of 3.25 feet (1.00 metres). This plant tends to bloom in mid summer.
Italy is believed to be where Lovage originates from.
Lovage is normally fairly low maintenance and is normally quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Lovage have been kindly provided by our members.
Lovage may be harvested after the first growing season. As with most culinary herbs, cut in the morning after the dew has dried. Do not wash the leaves or aromatic oils will be lost. Lovage is best used fresh but can be stored frozen in plastic bags or dried. To dry, tie the cuttings in small bunches and hang upside down in a well-ventilated, dark room.
A partial sun position will ensure your plant thrives and remember to water moderately. Zone 3 to 7 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Lovage needs a loamy and sandy soil with a ph of 6.1 to 7.8 (weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil). Keep in mind when planting that Lovage is thought of as hardy, so this plant will survive close to or on freezing temperatures.
See our list of companion Plants for Lovage to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.
Lovage grows well from seed. Start indoors 6-8 weeks before planting out. Sow 1/4 inch deep. Seeds will germinate in 10-20 days. Transplant after the danger of frost has passed and apply organic fertilizers to promote strong, healthy growth.
Harvest lovage leaves at anytime and the root can be dug out, preferably, in autumn.3
These estimates for how long Lovage takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.
Average 17 days | Min 11 days | Max 420 days (8)
Average 50 days | Min 48 days | Max 52 days (3)
Average 115 days | Min 54 days | Max 1771 days (3)
In many European languages the word for lovage derives from Latin ligusticus (meaning “of Liguria”, as the herb used to grow heartily in the Liguria region of northwest Italy), through its alteration levisticum In English the word became love parsley, and mistakenly, due to the name, lovage was often used in over-the-counter love tonics.
Lovage may be useful for relieving abdominal pains due to gastrointestinal gas. It is also said to reduce flatulence when consumed as a tea.
wear some lovage to assure your sweetheart’s undying devotion1
Grind one handful of lavage blossoms, leaves, stems and roots into a powder. For one cup of tea, pour boiling water over 1 tablespoon of powder, and let steep for 15 minutes. Offer and sip slowly.
Levisticum officinale W.D.J. Koch