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WikiProject Food and drink / Herbs and Spices (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
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WikiProject Plants (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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New External Link[edit]

Found a herb site/column with interesting additional information - not advertorial! Its also got some interesting points in the articles. History and Uses of Herbs Nesneros1982 (talk) 22:53, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I've moved the following links here:

If you would like to add these back in per Wikipedia:External links then please talk about it here first.
brenneman(t)(c) 14:13, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Also moved:

brenneman(t)(c) 12:28, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I tried to redirect "herbaceous plant" here, rather than to "perennial plant", but for some reason the redirect doesn't seem to be working. MrDarwin 01:16, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Seems OK. The redirect works for me. -- Solipsist 04:04, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Have just been looking at some of the external links and they seem to be just advertising. -- 11:44, 18 July 2007 (UTC) -- 23:42, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Have cleaned up some links. One link did not work and the other lead to product pages (below are the ones that have been removed) Home Herbal Remedies Info United Plant Savers Herbs Etc. International Medicinal Plant Growers Consortium

A vs. an[edit]

Reading "a herb" makes my head hurt. Is this a British/American English thing that I shouldn't fix per the manual of style? moink 01:19, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes it is but that doesn't mean no you shouldn't. If you want to be pedantic you can go way back and find the original way it was written and then we stick with that, or just change it to the correct ahem way you like. I say "a herb" myself, but that is neither here not there. - brenneman {L} 08:10, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
This little discussion finally clears up a mystery; I'm normally pretty good at Americanisms, but never knew definitively if the failure to pronounce the 'h' in herb was because it is simply silent for some historical reason in America, or whether it was a foreign loan-word with a different pronounciation. I think this probably puzzles more English people than one might suspect! Blitterbug (talk) 17:44, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Intersting points. I came here looking for the difference between herb and spice and see another dillema. Here in the states very few people pronounce the H. I did some reading and found that the word herb has its roots in the latin herba and the French erbe or herbe, where the h is silent. Like hour, honor, and other words with French origins, we typically don't pronounce the H. In other articles there is clear documentation that even in Britain a segment of the population routinely drops the H from many words, so this is not likely Brit v. Yank thing, Cheers! --Kevin Murray (talk) 01:58, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Herbaceous vs Herbal![edit]

Since the word "herb" is used in two very divergent ways in normal English as opposed to Botany, I'm splitting the botanical def into its own page (a revamped "herbaceous" article) which is linked on the herb disambiguation page. Krnntp 17:14, 19 September 2006 (UTC)


One thing I notice about the various herb articles(Rosemary being an example) is that many state outrageous claims about medical benefits and uses for cures w/o stating any references at all. Mint tea is stated as a "strong dieuretic". Indeed, a veritable menagerie of random non-culinary uses for herbs and spices have sprung up, with nearly none citing references. Question is: start deletin' or start referencin'? Curuinor 05:46, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Clean up[edit]

When I press to edit the See also section I get the references section etc and I cant see how to fix it. Coul;d sopmeone do so and then remove the clean-up tag, SqueakBox 01:18, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Culinary but not food?[edit]

The article says 'Herbs (IPA: hə(ɹ)b, or əɹb; see pronunciation differences) are plants grown for any purpose other than food, wood or beauty.[1] Such uses include culinary'. Culinary means 'of or relating to cooking'; they're used to flavour different foods. As they are part of what we eat, doesn't that make them food? 19:53, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Indeed. I'm not an expert but the definition of herb here seems pretty questionable. For example the Oxford English Dictionary defines herb as "A plant of which the stem does not become woody and persistent (as in a shrub or a tree), but remains more or less soft and succulent, and dies down to the ground (or entirely) after flowering." This is quite different from the definition on this page and seems to make a lot more sense. 09:56, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
My dictionary has two definitions; one common and one botanical. The common definition is 'Any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavouring, food, medicine, or perfume.' The botanical one is 'Any seed-bearing plant which does not have a woody stem and dies down to the ground after flowering.' The botanical definition fits with the one you've provided.--Jcvamp 23:22, 3 May 2007 (UTC)


I have changed the definition from " seed-bearing plants without woody stems, which die down to the ground after flowering" to "plants that are valued for qualities such as medicinal properties, flavor, scent, or the like." Both definitions are from, but given that herbaceous plants and herbs have been given distinct pages this secondary definition is clearly appropriate here. Bay leaves are a herb, but the trees are not herbaceous. Conrad Leviston (talk) 04:51, 19 December 2007 (UTC)


So rosemary is a shrub, but according to the definition, that would make it a medicinal herb, not a cullinary herb. This is rediculous! Change the def so it's looser and can include those odd cases, or exhaustively list the exceptions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:48, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Cannabis sativa[edit]

In order to link Cannabis Sativa we need to establish a link to Rastafari through a reference. Thanks, ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 19:09, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Definition again[edit]

The definition given at the start in this version is "any plant that is valued for flavor, scent, medicinal, or other qualities". However the quotation is misleading. If you look at the original source, it says: "herb ... 1. a flowering plant whose stem above ground does not become woody. 2. such a plant [my emphasis] when valued for its medicinal properties, flavor, scent, or the like." So the correct definition from here is not "any plant ..." but "a herbaceous plant ...". This definition excludes e.g. Rosemary and Bay Laurel which the article includes.

The version of the New Oxford American Dictionary that came included in my Apple MacBook Pro gives the definition: "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume ... a part of such a plant as used in cooking". According to Dictionary (software), this is the second edition, so I'm going to change the article to use this definition, which fits the content better. Note that it allows both the plant and the part used to be called herbs, which the old definition doesn't. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:24, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Indefinite article: "an herb" or "a herb"[edit]

The source of the article said "an<!-- This article is written in American English, in which "an herb" MAY be correct (Depending on speaker's pronunciation) (see next para). Please leave unchanged as per WP:ENGVAR and WP:RETAIN. --> herb". This is a perfectly fair comment within the relevant policies and must be respected. However, it's not logical to immediately follow "an herb" with the pronunciation /hɜːrb/, i.e. the pronunciation in which "an" is incorrect. "An herb" goes with /ɜːrb/; "a herb" with /hɜːrb/. Better, in my view, is either:

  1. Reversing the order of the IPA transcriptions
  2. Expanding the sentence to something like "an herb /ɜːrb/ or a herb /hɜːrb/"

For the present, I've chosen (1) above. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:42, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

I think the current version looks horrible. --John (talk) 12:46, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree; I would prefer a variant of (2), but was a bit concerned about following WP:ENGVAR and WP:RETAIN. What would you prefer? Peter coxhead (talk) 12:54, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I'd probably prefer something that avoids this awkwardness in the lead. The variant pronunciations are not a major feature of the subject. Could we get away with starting the article off "Herbs are... " and leave the discussion of pronunciation and indefinite articles for later in the article? --John (talk) 20:19, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I personally would be very happy with this. The counter argument might be that it is traditional in plant articles to put the pronunciation of the title immediately after the word is first used; however, this is usually for Latin names, not common English words. So I suggest you be WP:BOLD and make the change. If there are reasoned objections, then we can try again. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:29, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I will think about it some more for now. Our main concern should be readability and usefulness to the reader, not consistency with other articles. --John (talk) 23:36, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
As an aside, I find the pronunciation information at the start of other articles very off-putting.Nadiatalent (talk) 02:34, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree; when I've put this information in articles I've created, I've followed what seems to be the consensus, but I don't like it. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:14, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

While I agree that pronunciation can be intrusive at the start of the lead para, I think it's essential here. This article has a long history of "correction" alternating between the different pronunciations. Since the IPA and an explanation has been included this has died down, but I'm sure it would return if we moved the explanation. Sadly many people do not read the rest of the article before wellying in with a change... I'm not sure why people should be so keen to correct this particular article – I suspect it's because it's a word that Brits and Americans don't often hear each other say, so an error is the only cause they can think of. Perhaps it's also relevant that in this case it's the Americans who use a more French style of pronunciation, which I think is less common than the reverse.

In purely linguistic terms, I would say that the pronunciation "erb" is not almost certainly not directly French influenced but simply reflects older English usage which did not pronounce initial "h" in many more words than now. In Britain, over-correction based on spelling put back the "h" except in very common words (e.g. hour), initially in middle-class speech, and then in all formal speech. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:14, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Having said all that, the current lead para is a mess – it was far clearer (though much too short) before this edit. For example, it's quite unnecessary to start with "except", as the point can be dealt with perfectly well later in the text or indeed in a hatnote. Richard New Forest (talk) 09:57, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Well, if you look at the whole of that edit, the key change was to the hatnote; before the edit, the beginning of the article was confused between "herb" in the culinary sense and "herbaceous plant" in the botanical sense. The precise wording might be capable of being improved, but I think that making the differentiation clear from the very start, not just in the hatnote which not everyone reads, is important. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:14, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
As no-one else seemed to want to take my advice to be WP:BOLD, I have revised the lead myself. I think it now reads better and has not changed any meaning. Peter coxhead (talk) 12:24, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Nice work Peter. --John (talk) 16:59, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, readability has been improved. Nadiatalent (talk) 18:02, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

There is no article on the herb Gokulakanta why?[edit]

Please people start and article on this herb. (talk) 21:43, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

See Hygrophila auriculata. Gokulakanta will redirect there now. Nadiatalent (talk) 22:20, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Article Needed - North American Plants[edit]

It would be nice if someone would start an article called "List of North American Plants" with a Native and Non-Native section that leads to links on the various North American Plants. 2602:306:C518:62C0:6800:3456:2F93:AB51 (talk) 01:11, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

How about one that encompasses all countries? I find it a bit unfair to only include the US in such a general article. --FileComplaintHere (talk) 05:07, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

What in the world is a Herbaceous plant![edit]

This is for the comfort of the reader only. I suggest expanding on the the single link given to harbaceous plants to include this very important botanical definition. The one Google spits out is great, but I can't see the source: "any seed-bearing plant that does not have a woody stem and dies down to the ground after flowering." It gives a clearer picture to the layman. --FileComplaintHere (talk) 05:03, 5 April 2014 (UTC)


Might semi-protection be warranted here, due to the constant vandalism? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 17:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

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