with a flavor very similar to celery, the herb lovage is well loved in my garden. this is one of the few herbs that may grow up to four or five feet tall. surviving in full sun or even light shade, lovage is often used in the herb garden as a background plant, because of the nice leafy character and of course, the height.
over the past few years, i have enjoyed lovage in cooking soups and even salads. i mainly substitute in the herb for celery leaves, most often in asian soups. if lovage is tall enough, it will flower, and the stems and flowers are not edible. some references will say that once the lovage has flowered, the leaflets become bitter. my plant has not grown tall enough to flower in my garden.
over the years, i have heard this herb called love parsley. the leaflets are very similar to parsley and the plant produces pale green groupings of three beginning each spring.
lovage is a perennial herb, and has done well for me even in the coldest Michigan winters. i usually trim back the foliage and use shredded leaves to cover my entire herb garden like a blanket for the winter months.