ClareBroommaker's picture

Is lovage, Levisticum officinale, really very much like celery? Could I rely on it and use as I would for celery? Or is it mostly the leaves of lovage one uses ?

Most pictures I see of it online are small plants--so is it hard to overwinter? If grown to a second year, are the taller stems crisp and tender? Or would they be annoyingly tough in a salad?

Does it bloom in its first year? Does it die if you let it go to seed?

alice's picture

Hello Clare Broom Maker,

When I have grown lovage it forms a bigger plant than celery and I have used the leaves. It was easy to grow and I could harvest leaves several times. They have a strong flavour. A few handfuls of fresh leaves in a potato soup makes it lovage soup. I have not tried eating the stems and it may be that those are less strong in taste like with celery.

It was perennial here in the UK which is like USDA hardiness zone 7/8. I would expect that whether it grows as a perennial is going to depend on your winter conditions. Here, it dies back in winter and regrows from the root. But perhaps a more severe winter would kill it?