Culinary Herbs and Spices

This list of Culinary Herbs and Spices is not comprehensive but covers the most frequently used herbs and spices in Europe.

Culinary herbs and spices
Herbs and Spices - common name Botanical name Part of the plant[1] - botanical definition Climate Zone[2] Herb or Spice
Aniseed Pimpinella anisum Fruit[1a] TE Spice
Asafoetida Ferula asafoetida Rhizome TE, SU Spice
Basil Ocimum basilicum 1b TE Herb
Borage Leaf Borago officinalis Leaf TE Herb
Caraway Carum carvi Fruit[1a] TE Spice
Cardamom seeds Elettaria cardamomum Seed TR Spice
Cardamom, whole pods Elettaria cardamomum Fruit TR Spice
Celery leaves Apium graveolens dulce 1b TE Herb
Celery seed Apium graveolens Seed TE Spice
Chervil Anthriscus cerefolium 1b TE Herb
Chillies Capsicum frutescens or annuum Fruit TR Spice
Chives Allium schoenoprasum Leaf TE Herb
Cinnamon (Cassia) Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Sri Lanka)
Cinnamomum burmanii (Indonesia)
Cinnamomum loureirii (Vietnam)
Cinnamomum aromaticum (China)
Inner bark TR Spice
Cloves Syzygium aromaticum Flower bud TR Spice
Coriander leaves Coriandrum sativum 1b TE Herb
Coriander seed Coriandrum sativum Fruit[1a] TE Spice
Cumin seed Cuminum cyminum Fruit[1a] TE Spice
Dill seed Anethum graveolens Fruit[1a] TE Spice
Dill tops Anethum graveolens 1b TE Herb
Fennel seed Foeniculum vulgare Fruit[1a] TE Spice
Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum Seed TE Spice
Galanga Alpinia galanga Rhizome TR Spice
Garlic Allium sativum Bulb TE Spice
Ginger Zingiber officinale Rhizome TR Spice
Grains of Paradise Aframomum melegueta Seed TR Spice
Juniper berries Juniperus communis Fruit TE Spice
Kaffir Lime Leaves Citrus hystrix Leaf TR Spice
Laurel (Bay) leaves Laurus nobilis Leaf TE Spice
Lavender Flower Lavandula officinalis Flower TE Herb
Lavender Leaf Lavandula officinalis Leaf TE Herb
Lemon Grass Cymbopogon citratus Leaf TR Herb
Lovage Levisticum officinalis Leaf TE Herb
Lovage Levisticum officinalis Rhizome TE Herb
Mace Myristica fragrans Aril TR Spice
Marjoram Majorana hortensis, Syn. Origanum majorana 1b TE Herb
Mexican oregano Lippia graveolens Leaf TE Spice
Mustard seed Sinapis alba, Brassica nigra, Brassica juncea Seed TE Spice
Nigella seeds (kalonji seed or improperly "black onion seeds" or "black cumin seeds" or "black caraway seeds" Nigella sativa Seed TR, SU Spice
Nutmeg Myristica fragrans Seed TR Spice
Onion and shallot, dried Allium cepa & allium ceavar. aggregatum Bulb TE Spice
Oregano Origanum vulgare TE Herb
Paprika Capsicum annuum or frutescens Fruit TE Spice
Parsley Petroselinum crispum 1b TE Herb
Pepper, green dried[3] Piper nigrum Fruit TR Spice
Pepper, black Piper nigrum Fruit TR Spice
Pepper, cubeb, cubebs, java Piper cubeba L. Fruit TR Spice
Pepper, pink Schinus terebinthifolius
Schinus molle
Fruit TR Spice
Pepper, white Piper nigrum Seed[1a] TR Spice
Peppermint Mentha piperita Leaf TE Herb
Pimento Pimenta dioica Fruit TR Spice
Pimento (Allspice) Pimenta dioca Fruit TR Spice
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis 1b TE Herb
Saffron Crocus sativus Parts of pistil TE Spice
Sage Salvia officinalis 1b TE Herb
Savory Satureja hortensis 1b TE Herb
Summer Savory, Winter Savory Satureja hortensis 1b TE Herb
Sichuan pepper Zanthoxylum piperitum Fruit TE Spice
Spearmint Mentha spicata 1b TE Herb
Star anise Illicium verum Fruit TE Spice
Tarragon Arteminsia dracuncuklus 2 TE Herb
Thyme Thymus vulgaris, thymus zygis, thymus serpyllum 1b TE Herb
Turmeric Curcuma longa Rhizome TR Spice
Vanilla Vanilla planifolia, Vanilla tahitensis Fruit TR Spice

Notes

[1a] The traditional names and definitions which have developed over time sometimes deviate from modern botanical definitions; for example aniseed and other seeds are botanically fruits, and white pepper - which is sometimes referred to as a fruit, is actually a seed.

[1b] The term 'Herbs', usually refers to the leaves or the whole, soft part of the plant.

[2] Spices may be classified in various ways, of which the most used are the Part of the Plant from which they derived or the Climate Zone where they are grown.

TR = tropical zone
TE = temperate zone
SU - subtropical

[3] Pepper, green and red, and capers in brine are generally defined as condiments.


Last reviewed: 23 Oct 2013