UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA


Garden Help > Herbs

Lovage, Levisticum officinale, originates from the Eastern Mediterranean. It is typically grown for its leaves, stems, roots, and seeds. The leaves have a flavor similar to celery, only stronger. They are commonly used to flavor salads, soups, and stews. Lovage is considered to be an herb, but the stems can be eaten as a vegetable, while the roots are sometimes used in salads or tea. The seeds are frequently used as a spice in soups and meat dishes.

How to grow

  • Type: Perennial, will go dormant in winter
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: Well drained
  • Water: Medium, prefers moist soil
  • Size: 3–6' high x 2–3' wide

When to plant/propagate

  • From seed: Sow seeds in spring or fall. Lovage will also self-seed if seeds are not harvested.
  • Division: Can also be propagated by root division


  • Harvest leaves and stems as needed. For the most tender leaves, harvest frequently to encourage new growth
  • For seeds, allow flowers to develop and harvest seed heads when they start to turn brown in fall
  • Preserving and drying herbs

More information


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