Native originally to southwestern Asia, dill is now naturalized in many parts of Europe and the northern US. Dill is a very popular flavoring in northern, central and eastern European countries, but hardly used at all in France or Italy. Dill is almost indispensable in Russian and Scandinavian cookery. In India, 'Sowa' dill, which is more pungent than European and American varieties, is an essential ingredient in curry.
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Catalog Number: US 47033
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): S. Watson
Year Collected: 1869
Locality: Wahsatch Mts., Utah, United States, North America
- Syntype: Watson, S. 1871. Rep. U.S. Geol. Explor. Fortieth Par., Bot. 5: 128.
Cavariella aegopodii sucks sap of live leaf of Anethum graveolens
Remarks: season: summer
In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / pathogen
Itersonilia perplexans infects and damages leaf of Anethum graveolens
Foodplant / parasite
telium of Puccinia nitida parasitises live leaf of Anethum graveolens
Dill is fast growing and of very easy cultivation.
Light: Dill does best in full sun; it becomes leggy and prone to topple over in partial shade.
Moisture: Dill does best in well drained soil with typical garden watering. It may bolt quickly to flower during a prolonged dry spell.
Hardiness: Dill is an annual that can be grown all summer in USDA zones 3-7, in spring and fall in zone 8, and in the winter in zones 9-11. In hot weather dill flowers and goes to seed quickly.
Propagation: Sow dill seeds where they will be grown about the time of the last expected frost. Plant dill every couple weeks to insure a constant supply of fresh leaves. Dill usually self sows, and it's best to pick a spot in the garden where you would like to have it year after year.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Anethum graveolens
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Anethum graveolens
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 14
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Reasons: Widely cultivated and sometimes naturalized in S. Asia, Europe, N. America, and the West Indies.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Uses: FOOD, Food oil, Spice/herb/condiment, Folk medicine
Production Methods: Cultivated
Comments: Widely cultivated and sometimes naturalized, the fruits and other plant parts (or oil from both) of dill are used as food flavoring, especially for pickles. The seeds are used as a carminative, stimulant, and for other uses.
Dill, with its lacy blue-green foliage and showy umbrellas of yellow flowers, is an attractive addition to the flower border as well as the herb garden. Don't omit dill from the butterfly garden as it a premiere larval food source for many species.
Harvest dill foliage as needed. Dill weed usually is used fresh, but it can be frozen; dried dill weed is a poor substitute for the fresh. The seeds are harvested just as they begin to turn brown, usually 2-3 weeks after the flowers have finished. Cut seed heads off and dry in a paper bag until the seeds can be shaken from the seed heads. Store in an airtight jar.
Dill is, of course, the principal flavoring in dill pickles, but it also is used to add zest to potato salads, egg salads and sauerkraut, and to flavor vinegars and sauces for fish. Dill goes well with cabbage and other boiled vegetables. Often the seeds are used for these purposes, but the leaves serve equally well. We use fresh dill leaves in salads, and on broiled salmon.
A dill weed in full bloom is a galaxy of tiny yellow flowers. Dill (and other members of the carrot family) are the sole food plants for the caterpillars of the beautiful black swallowtail butterfly. Dill flowers attract beneficial insects to the vegetable garden, too. Lacewings and syrphid fly adults eat the pollen of dill and other carrot family plants, and their larvae prey on plant sucking aphids. Keep a few dill plants scattered here and there throughout the vegetable garden. Usually wherever they come up is fine with me; sometimes I have to make an executive decision and move a seedling a few feet one way or another.
The dried flower heads of dill provide an attractive, airy form for floral arrangements.
Dill grows up to 40–60 cm (16–24 in), with slender hollow stems and alternate, finely divided, softly delicate leaves 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long. The ultimate leaf divisions are 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) broad, slightly broader than the similar leaves of fennel, which are threadlike, less than 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, but harder in texture. The flowers are white to yellow, in small umbels 2–9 cm (0.79–3.54 in) diameter. The seeds are 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) thick, and straight to slightly curved with a longitudinally ridged surface.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||180 kJ (43 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||2.1 g|
|Vitamin A||7717 (154%) IU|
|Copper||0.14 mg (7%)|
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.|
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Like caraway, the fernlike leaves of dill are aromatic and are used to flavor many foods such as gravlax (cured salmon) and other fish dishes, borscht and other soups, as well as pickles (where the dill flower is sometimes used). Dill is best when used fresh as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried; however, freeze-dried dill leaves retain their flavor relatively well for a few months.
Dill seed, having a flavor similar to caraway but also resembling that of fresh or dried dill weed, is used as a spice. Dill oil is extracted from the leaves, stems and seeds of the plant. The oil from the seeds is distilled and used in the manufacturing of soaps. 
In Russia, Ukraine, and Poland dill is one of the most popular herbs used in the kitchen, and, along with parsley, is used for various purposes. Fresh, finely cut dill leaves are used as topping to various soups, especially the hot red borsht and the cold borsht mixed with curds, kefir, yoghurt, or sour cream, which is served during hot summer weather and is called okroshka. It is also popular in summer to drink fermented milk (curds, kefir, yoghurt, or buttermilk) mixed with finely cut dill (and sometimes other herbs).
In the same way, prepared dill is used as a topping for boiled potatoes covered with fresh butter - especially in summertime when there are the so-called "new," or young, potatoes. The dill leaves can be mixed with butter beforehand, making it a dill butter, which can serve the same purpose. Dill leaves mixed with tvorog form one of the traditional cheese spreads used for sandwiches. Fresh dill leaves are used all year round as an ingredient for making fresh salads, e.g., one made of lettuce, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, the way basil leaves are used in Italy and Greece.
In Poland, fresh dill leaves mixed with sour cream are the basis for dressings, and it is especially popular to use this kind of sauce with freshly cut cucumbers, which practically are wholly immersed in the sauce, making thus a salad called "mizeria." The dill leaves serve as a basis for cooking dill sauce, used hot for baked fresh water fish and for chicken or turkey breast, or used hot or cold for hard boiled eggs (depending on the temperature of the eggs served).
In south-eastern Poland it is popular to cook a dill-based soup (zupa koperkowa), served with potatoes and hard boiled eggs. Whole stems including roots and flower buds are traditionally used to prepare Polish-style pickled cucumbers (ogórki kiszone), especially the so-called low-salt cucumbers ("ogórki małosolne"). Whole stems of dill (often including the roots) are also cooked with potatoes, especially the late potatoes of autumn and winter, so they resemble the flavor of the newer potatoes found in summer time. Some kinds of fish, especially trout and salmon, are also traditionally baked with both stems and leaves of dill.
In Romania dill (mărar) is widely used as an ingredient for soups such as borş (pronounced "borsh"), pickles and other dishes, especially those based on peas, beans and cabbage. It is also popular for dishes based on potatoes and mushrooms and can be found in many summer salads (especially cucumber salad, cabbage salad and lettuce salad). During springtime, it is used together with spring onions in omelets. It often complements sauces based on sour cream or yogurt and is often mixed with salted cheese and used as a filling. Another popular dish with dill as a main ingredient is dill sauce, which is served with eggs and fried sausages.
In Hungary, dill is very widely used. It is popular as a sauce or filling, especially in Langos, and mixed with a type of cottage cheese. Dill is also used for pickling and in salads. The Hungarian name for dill is kapor.
In Serbia, dill is known as mirodjija and is used as an addition to soups, potato and cucumber salads and French fries. It also features in the Serbian proverb "бити мирођија у свакој чорби" /biti mirodjija u svakoj čorbi/ (to be a dill in every soup) which corresponds to the English proverb "to have a finger in every pie".
In Greece, dill is known as 'άνηθος'(anithos). In antiquity it was used as an add-in in wines, which they were called "anithites oinos" (wine with anithos-dill). In modern days, dill is used in salads, soups, sauces, fish dishes and vegetable dishes.
In Santa Maria, Azores, dill (endro) is the most important ingredient of the traditional Holy Ghost soup (sopa do Espírito Santo). Dill is found practically everywhere in Santa Maria and is curiously rare in the other Azorean Islands.
In India, dill is known as shepu (शेपू) in Marathi and Konkani, savaa in Hindi or soa in Punjabi. In Telugu, it is called Soa-kura (for herb greens). It is also called sabbasige soppu (ಸಬ್ಬಸಿಗೆ ಸೊಪ್ಪು) in Kannada. In Tamil it is known as sada kuppi(சதகுப்பி). In Malayalam, it is ചതകുപ്പ (chathakuppa) or ശതകുപ്പ (sathakuppa). In Sanskrit, this herb is called shatapushpa. In Gujarati, it is known as suva(સૂવા). In India, dill is prepared in the manner of yellow moong dal as a main-course dish. It is considered to have very good antigas properties,so it is used as mukhwas, or an after-meal digestive. It is also traditionally given to mothers immediately after childbirth. In the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, a smaller amount of fresh dill is cooked along with cut potatoes and fresh fenugreek leaves(Hindi आलू-मेथी-सोया). In Manipur, dill, locally known as pakhon, is an essential ingredient of chagem pomba – a traditional Manipuri dish made with fermented soybean and rice.
In Laos and parts of northern Thailand, dill is known in English as Lao coriander (Lao: ຜັກຊີ, Thai: ผักชีลาว). In the Lao language, it is called phak see, and in Thai, it is known as phak chee Lao. In Lao cuisine, Lao coriander is used extensively in traditional Lao dishes such as mok pa (steamed fish in banana leaf) and several coconut milk-based curries that contain fish or prawns.
In China dill is colloquially called huixiang (茴香), or more properly shiluo (莳萝). It is a common filling in baozi and xianbing and can be used vegetarian, with rice vermicelli, or combined with either meat or eggs. Vegetarian dill baozi are a common part of a Beijing breakfast. In baozi and xianbing, it is often interchangeable with non-bulbing fennel and the term 茴香 can also refer to fennel, like caraway and coriander leaf share a name in Chinese as well. Dill is also stir fried as a potherb, often with egg, in the same manner as Chinese chives. It is commonly used in Taiwan as well.
In Vietnam, the use of dill in cooking is regional; it is used mainly in northern Vietnamese cuisine.
Middle East uses
In Arab countries, dill seed, called ain jaradeh (grasshopper's eye), is used as a spice in cold dishes such as fattoush and pickles. In Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, dill is called shibint and is used mostly in fish dishes. In Egypt, dillweed is commonly used to flavor cabbage dishes, including koronb mahshi (stuffed cabbage leaves).
Other regional cooking
In Canada, dill is a favorite herb to accompany poached salmon.
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In Anglo-Saxon England, as prescribed in Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England (also called Læceboc, many of whose recipes were borrowed from Greek medicinal texts), dill was used in many traditional medicines, including those against jaundice, headache, boils, lack of appetite, stomach problems, nausea, liver problems, and many other ills. Dill seeds can also be used to prepare herbal tea.
In India the leaves of dill and other greens are used to prepare a variety of local dishes which are served as an accompaniment to rotis or chapatis.
In ancient Greece fragrance was made from the leaves of dill. Also, athletes used to spread essence of dill all over their body, as muscle toner.
Successful cultivation requires warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially. It also prefers rich, well drained soil. The seeds are viable for three to ten years.
The seed is harvested by cutting the flower heads off the stalks when the seed is beginning to ripen. The seed heads are placed upside down in a paper bag and left in a warm, dry place for a week. The seeds then separate from the stems easily for storage in an airtight container.
When used as a companion planting, dill draws in many beneficial insects as the umbrella flower heads go to seed. Fittingly, it makes a good companion plant for cucumbers. It is a poor companion for carrots and tomatoes. It is also said that dill is the only plant which grows best with fennel.
- Antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus
- Antimicrobial activity against Saccharomyces cerevisiae
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- Oxford English Dictionary, first edition, [www.oed.com/view/Entry/52792 s.v.] (pay site)
- Whole Foods Profile[unreliable source?]
- M. G. Kains (1912). American Agriculturist, ed. Culinary Herbs: Their Cultivation Harvesting Curing and Uses (English). Orange Judd Company.
- Dill Profile
- Davidson, A. (2003). Seafood of South-East Asia (2nd ed.). Ten Speed Press. p. 216. ISBN 1-58008-452-4.
- Edibly Asian
- Ling, K. F. (2002). The Food of Asia. Singapore: Periplus editions (HK). p. 155. ISBN 0-7946-0146-4.
- "The Self-Sufficient Gardener Podcast Episode 17 My Favorite Herbs - Dill".
- Bailer, J.; Aichinger, T.; Hackl, G.; de Hueber, K.; Dachler, M. (2001). "Essential oil content and composition in commercially available dill cultivars in comparison to caraway". Industrial Crops and Products 14 (3): 229–239. doi:10.1016/S0926-6690(01)00088-7.
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- Singh, G.; Maurya, S.; Lampasona, M. P.; Catalan, C. (2005). "Chemical Constituents, Antimicrobial Investigations, and Antioxidative Potentials of Anethum graveolens L. Essential Oil and Acetone Extract: Part 52". Journal of Food Science 70 (4): M208–M215. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.2005.tb07190.x.
- Dhalwal, K.; Shinde, V. M.; Mahadik, K. R. (2008). "Efficient and Sensitive Method for Quantitative Determination and Validation of Umbelliferone, Carvone and Myristicin in Anethum graveolens and Carum carvi Seed". Chromatographia 67 (1–2): 163–167. doi:10.1365/s10337-007-0473-6.
- Blank, I.; Grosch, W. (1991). "Evaluation of Potent Odorants in Dill Seed and Dill Herb (Anethum graveolens L.) by Aroma Extract Dilution Analysis". Journal of Food Science 56 (1): 63–67. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.1991.tb07976.x.
- Delaquis, P. J.; Stanich, K.; Girard, B.; Mazza, G. (2002). "Antimicrobial activity of individual and mixed fractions of dill, cilantro, coriander and eucalyptus essential oils". International Journal of Food Microbiology 74 (1–2): 101–109. doi:10.1016/S0168-1605(01)00734-6. PMID 11929164.
- Jirovetz, L.; Buchbauer, G.; Stoyanova, A. S.; Georgiev, E. V.; Damianova, S. T. (2003). "Composition, Quality Control, and Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil of Long-Time Stored Dill (Anethum graveolens L.) Seeds from Bulgaria". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51 (13): 3854–3857. doi:10.1021/jf030004y. PMID 12797755.
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