If you are unfamiliar with herb gardens it can be difficult to identify the types of herbs in front of you when there is not a little sign beneath them proclaiming their name. Herbs are excellent for cooking, delicious in herbal teas and beautiful on the counter and have applications in many other aspects of life. So, if you should come across an herb in the wild, use the tips below to help you identify it.
Use leaf shape to identify basil. Italian basil has smooth, bright green leaves with no serrations on the edge. The bottom, near the stem, is rounded and comes to a point at the tip. The best method to tell if it is basil is to smell it; the leaves give off the distinctive scent when brushed.
As common as basil and similar in appearance, parsley has the curly leaf and flat leaf (Italian) varieties. Both have vibrant green leaves and thin stems, with the serrated-edged flat leaf growing in trios on the stem. They are rounded on the bottom and come to a point. The smaller curly leaf parsley is also serrated with less of a pointed end and more rounded in general. The leaves curl up into themselves, resulting in dozens of tight bunches on the top of a sprig.
This herb grows on a thick shrub and has sharp, needle-like evergreen leaves in a mint green color on long, thin wooden branches. Small, light purple flowers stud the leaves during blooming season. Once again, the scent of rosemary is distinctive, so just hold up a sprig of the plant to your nose to double check that it is rosemary.
Like rosemary, this herb grows on a thick shrub and has long wooden twig-like stems. The flowers are small round buds with ashy green leaves and pale pink or purple flowers. The unusual buds provide the best visual clue when looking for this herb.