Herb Identification – Identifying Fresh Herbs

How well do you know the names of the fresh herbs? Many herbs look quite similar, so it’s easy to be confused. This visual guide to herb identification makes identifying fresh herbs a snap.This handy chart makes Herb Identification a snap. #herbidentification #kitchenherbs

Herb Identification  – Do you know your herbs?

Most people know the names of a few fresh herbs that are most commonly used in recipes.  Basil and rosemary have quite a distinctive look so it’s easy to remember what they are. However, many other herbs have a very similar leaf structure, especially if the plant is not too developed. 

I can’t tell you how many times I have come back from a shopping trip with a bunch of cilantro, thinking that I had picked up flat leaf parsley parsley.  These two herbs may look similar but have a very different taste when used in recipes.so it pays to know what you are buying. 

Another herb that has a look alike cousin is oregano.  Look at the marjoram leaves in the picture above. Can you see how easily it would be to get confused between the two?

Herb Gardening Information

I am in the process of writing several articles that give information on how to grow and use the various herbs in the photo above above.  Be sure to check back often to see more posts. Just click on any of the photos or links below to find out more about that fresh herb.

Basil PlantBasil Bay leaves can be grown in your gardenBay Laurel How to grow chervilChervil
Growing Fresh ChivesChives Growing ccilantroCilantro Oregano PlantOregano
Rosemary PlantRosemary Thyme plantThyme Growing WheatgrassWheatgrass

If you have always used dried herbs and spices then you are probably lost when it comes to trying to identifying herbs.  This handy herb identification chart will come come in handy.  I have included the herbs that most cooks may come in contact with.

Guide to Growing Herbs

Armed with this handy chart, you’ll soon be an expert at guessing the names of herbs by sight.  The next step will be learning about the smell of different herbs. I find that even more interesting. 

We’ve all seen those little bubble packs of fresh herbs at the grocery store, but did you know that you can easily grow herbs yourself?  I’ve written a complete guide that will give you all the information you need in one place. Be sure to check out my guide to growing herbs.

I hope you enjoy using this convenient herb identification chart. I  would suggest that you pin it to Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

  11 comments for “Herb Identification – Identifying Fresh Herbs

  1. Sue
    05/23/2018 at 6:47 pm

    Can you tell me what this is? It appears to resemble rosemary leaves in one way, is very fragrant and smells much like rosemary, but with an overpowering and very lovely smell that smells like someone just cooked a dish with lemons and olives! I have used it in cooking for a couple of years (with no ill effects), but inherited it in the house we bought and I’ve been unable to identify it. Thanks! It gets very small, compact yellow flowers (you can see a few are just about to bloom), in the spring at the top of the stems.

    • Carol
      05/24/2018 at 9:45 am

      I’m not sure I know what that is. Is it sticky to gardening gloves? I have a weed that grows in my yard that sticks to my gloves that looks like that plant. Other than that, I am afraid I don’t know what it is. Carol

  2. Arun Kumar
    06/06/2018 at 7:48 am

    Can you tell name of this plant

    • Carol
      06/06/2018 at 9:14 am

      Hi Arun. It looks a bit like Viburnum. Carol

  3. Hanna
    06/10/2018 at 11:25 am

    Hi are you able to tell me what this is? It’s growing little yellow flowers but very fragrant! Thank you

    • Carol
      06/21/2018 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Hanna. That looks like a weed to me. Carol

  4. Beka
    06/20/2018 at 10:29 pm

    Can you identify this? I thought it was a weed but it smells like an herb. It’s in my herb garden and I’m not sure if it’s from last year or??

    • Carol
      06/21/2018 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Beka. That doesn’t look like any herb that I am familiar with. I’ve never seen a plant with that leaf coloring before. Carol

      • Beka
        06/22/2018 at 6:15 pm

        Thank you! Maybe it’s taking on the smell of the herbs next to it.

  5. Beka
    06/20/2018 at 10:30 pm

    I pretty sure this one is thyme but my husband and I aren’t 100%

    • Carol
      06/21/2018 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Beca. Not thyme. Thyme has tiny leaves. The leaves and flowers look like oregano but it’s a pretty large plant. Mine are much smaller. Carol

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