Thursday, June 1, 2023

Dill is a beautiful, easy-to-grow herb in Florida

Pollinators love dill flowers.

Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a fast-growing, cool-weather annual with a long taproot. It provides both a classic herb and a spice--the leaves are called dill weed, and used fresh or dried as a herb in salads or as a garnish, while the seeds are used as a spice for pickling or in potato and pasta salads. Dill is native to the Mediterranean region, but it's grown world wide.

The majestic dill flower heads can reach fourteen inches across. They attract a wide variety of pollinators, and importantly for organic gardeners, dill attracts the small parasitoid wasps that prey on tomato worms and other garden pests. 

All the above-ground parts of the dill plant are edible. The leaves and the seeds are most often harvested, but you can also eat the flowers and the stems. 

Taxonomic note: The Kew Garden's Plants of the World Online database considers dill (Anethum graveolens) and several other related species to be synonyms of false fennel (Ridolfia segetum). I have not found other organizations joining in on this lumping of species as yet, but there may be a dill name change in the future.