What are the characteristics a herb? Is this a
scientifically accepted term?
To the botanist, an herb is a plant without woody stems, ie not a
tree or shrub. This differs from the use of the word by the cook
or herbalist, which designates only those plants with culinary or
medicinal properties no matter whether or not the stems are
stiffened with wood.
Anthony Brach Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012