2019 Programme

Daytime Meetings 10am

Evening Meetings 7pm

The Canterbury HERB Society Meet monthly at the Avice Hill Craft Centre

Craft Room, Avice Hill Craft Centre, 395 Memorial Avenue
parking available

Forthcoming Meetings

Thursday 28 November 7pm


The Library is open on the 2nd Thursday of every month 12 – 2pm and half an hour before each meeting

Display Garden: maintained by members – open to the public

Subscriptions to the Herb Society are $15 ( due February)
Visitors Welcome: $2 per meeting

Visit the Herb Society Facebook page

Romancing the Rose

Our first roses will  be blooming now. So many types and varieties grow almost world wide. The name for a “rose’ is almost the same in any European language, an indication of its antiquity. Early poets all sang praises of the rose. Dried roses have been found in Egyptian tombs. “Rose” by any name signifies joy, beauty and  love. During the medieval period people associated the rose with Spring and fertility, also with pleasure and enjoyment.

Herb of the Month – Jerusalem Artichoke

Have you got a sunny empty spot at the back of your garden? You may like to try this ancient tuberous sunflower species grown by native Americans long before the arrival of Europeans. It is an attractive tall growing perennial with sunflower heads up to about 10cm across. It grows from white underground tubers that are rich in inulin, can be eaten raw, or cooked. They also make a delicious soup which tastes a little like oyster soup. It was taken to Europe and became very popular there in the 1600s. Despite the name, the plant has nothing to do with either Jerusalem or with artichokes! Another old European name, Sunchoke is more appropriate!

Herb of the Month – Chickweed

A real nuisance once it gets into your garden, this plant does have its uses! Originally native to Europe and Asia it now grows wild throughout much of the world preferring cultivated moist soils but is not fussy, becoming variable in size and habit. Buried seeds are known to retain their viability for at least 25 years and the plant can even flower and ripen seeds under snow! Don’t let it flower or you will have it forever!

Herb of the Month – Coriander

This beautiful Autumn golden deciduous tree is the one remaining species of the Ginkgoaceae family and was around before the dinosaurs, when there were ferns but no true flowering plants. Charles Darwin referred to it as “A living fossil”.

Herb of the Month – Ginkgo Biloba

This beautiful Autumn golden deciduous tree is the one remaining species of the Ginkgoaceae family and was around before the dinosaurs, when there were ferns but no true flowering plants. Charles Darwin referred to it as “A living fossil”.

Herb of the Month – Red Henna

Many of us know henna as a colour long used in art, tattoos, hair dye, paints, textiles, silk, leather and rug dyes. But, have we thought about what it is? The Herb Society was privileged to have a guest speaker from Iran to tell us.

Herb of the Month – Five Season Herb

Five Season Herb Plectranthus (Coleus) ambionicus  – family lamiaceae (mint) A member of the well known, ornamental Coleus, widely grown as a decorative garden plant for its attractive variegated red leaves. Cream bordered This plant is becoming popular and sought after. There have recently been several enquiries about it. There are two varieties now available in Christchurch, one has plain green leaves, the other is exactly the same but has leaves with an attractive cream border. Being tender, it will not grow outside here and even in Summer does better indoors where it makes an aromatic year-round pot plant. I brought it down from North Auckland many years ago and have it still. It is easy […]

Herbs for Pest & Disease Control

from Canterbury Herb Society Try chives and/or garlic and banana skin mulch around roses. Put a ring of garlic around fruit tree trunks and foxgloves as a growth stimulant. Use garlic and nasturtiums as soil disinfectants. Visit the Canterbury Herb Society Facebook page

Herb of the Month – Briar Rose Rosa rubiginosa

Common names –Sweet Briar, Eglantine Rose The species is native to Europe, Western Asia and South America. It is a deciduous, thorny, woody, hardy shrub. It is branched from the ground to 3 – 4 metres and does well in arid conditions. It was brought to New Zealand early on as a deciduous ornamental for its single pink, highly perfumed flowers and red hips. The long-lived seeds inside the hips ripen over summer and are readily dispersed by birds. The plant also spreads rapidly by suckers and is now regarded as a major scrub weed in the South Island, especially in Central Otago and inland Canterbury. It invades open drought prone areas, river flats, and prevents the growth of native species. […]

Herb of the Month – Rosemary

ROSEMARY Rosmarinus officinalis “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance” – Shakespeare, (Hamlet) This had to be the herb for the 50th Anniversary of the Canterbury Herb Society. Native to the Mediterranean and Asia, the Latin name Rosmarinus translates as “dew of the sea” due not only to its native habitat but the dew like blossoms seen at a distance. It is a very hardy, fragrant, evergreen perennial smallish shrub either upright or sprawling and will grow almost anywhere surviving droughts and colder climates with its stiff needle-like leaves. It does not like wet swampy conditions. Many varieties have been cultivated/crossed and today flower colours range through shades of blue, purple, pinks and white. Foliage comes from green through variegated […]

Herb of the Month – Frankincense

What is Frankincense? Frankincense is the aromatic resin used in incense and perfume obtained from five trees in the genus Boswellia. The Frankincense or Olibanum trees have a papery bark, sparse branches, paired leaves and white flowers with yellow or red centres. They are native to the arid stony dry lands of the Arabian Peninsula – Omen and Yemen, and to N.E. Africa – Somalia. When these scraggy hardy trees are 8 to 10 years old, all species are tapped three times a year to bleed drops of resin. The third tapping of each year produces the best quality. One species even grows in rock and has a bulbous disk-like swollen trunk which stops the tree […]


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