21 Fruit Flavored Herbs – Your Favorite Herbs with an Unexpected Twist!

A green smoothie surrounded by fresh green apple, limes, and fruit flavored herbs.
My Garden Life
April 15, 2024
Table of Contents

You don’t need to grow a home orchard to have an assortment of fresh, fruity flavors at your fingertips. Grow fruit flavored herbs and you’ll never lack for a hint of citrus or sweet twist of pineapple for seasoning your favorite recipes or beverages. The number of herbs that have a hint of fruit in their flavor is amazing and offers lots of versatility for experimenting with different variations on your recipes.

Ways to Use Fruit Flavored Herbs

The ways to use fruit flavored herbs are no different than how you use basic herbs. Just snip off sprigs as needed for your recipe, to make tea, or to add flavor to water or iced beverages. When growing, avoid treating your plants with chemicals that may be absorbed into the foliage and be sure to rinse your fresh cutting in water to remove any small insects, soil, or other debris.

Depending on the herb, the flowers can be useful for garnishing a plate, adding color to a lettuce salad, or adding a finishing touch to a beverage. In the case of fruit flavored herbs, the flower flavors are usually a great complement to sweet foods. They’re a great way to quickly and easily add a unique touch to a cake, cupcakes, iced cookies, or sliced fruit cups. The more colorful herb flowers, such as the red flowers of pineapple sage, can also be chopped and used in the cake batter to add color and additional flavor.

A woman pours water from a pitcher filled with sliced fruits and fruit flavored herbs into a water glass.

While it’s often advisable to remove the flowers from herb plants so that the energy of the plant goes into production of foliage, many herbs produce flowers that are excellent sources of pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. In fact, many herbs make great additions to a pollinator garden. Even if you have no interest in growing herbs for culinary reasons, a few tucked in among your flowering annual and perennial plants will add fragrance to your garden, even when other plants aren’t in bloom. As fall approaches you may want to cut and dry some stems for use in potpourri or for later use in cooking.

A hummingbird sipping nectar from the tubular red flowers of a pineapple sage plant-Salvia elegans.

Citrus Flavored Herbs

Citrus flavored herbs are some of the most common fruit flavored herbs. You can grow herbs that smell and taste like lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit. You can use citrus flavored herbs to replace the basic herbs in your favorite recipes or for flavoring teas. Their tangy flavor adds an extra touch of refreshment to an iced beverage or a cocktail on a hot day.

Orange Balm ‘Mandarina’ (Melissa officinalis)

Orange Balm ‘Mandarina’ (Melissa officinalis)

An interesting alternative to lemon balm. The leaves of ‘Mandarina’ are infused with an intoxicating scent of Mandarin Orange, and are very popular for brewing a calming tea. The leaves can also be used to flavor soups, salads, fish dishes and herb vinegars. Dried leaves can be added to homemade potpourri or herb pillows. This plant is very nice for growing along walkways or in patio containers, where the scent can be appreciated. Bees love this plant!
Orange Thyme (Thymus fragantissimus)

Orange Thyme (Thymus fragantissimus)

Orange thyme is a double-duty plant that forms a lovely fragrant mat of foliage in the garden and provides a delightful seasoning for cooking. Better yet, the foliage is evergreen so it can be utilized over a long season. The flavor is mild and adds a light orange flavor to any dish. Dainty pink flowers in midsummer attract bees to the garden. Use for groundcover, rock gardens, and in containers.
Lemon Basil (Ocimum basilicum citriodorum)

Lemon Basil (Ocimum basilicum citriodorum)

Lovely gray-green foliage with a refreshing lemon scent adds a wonderful dimension of fragrance to the garden. Produces attractive white flower spikes in late summer. The leaves have an intense lemon taste and fragrance, and are superb for adding a citrus flavor to fish dishes, vinegars and salads. Grow in the garden or in a container.
Lemon Basil ‘Sweet Dani’ (Ocimum basilicum)

Lemon Basil ‘Sweet Dani’ (Ocimum basilicum)

This lemon basil variety is valued as both a culinary herb and ornamental annual! The leaves of ‘Sweet Dani’ possess an intense lemon taste and fragrance, producing up to 75% more essential oils than other lemon basils. Use the leaves to add a lemony taste to fish dishes, teas, vinegars and salads. ‘Sweet Dani’ is lovely when mingled throughout annual beds, planted along walkways, or grown in patio pots where the scent can be appreciated. Winner of the All-America Selections award in 1998.
Creeping Lemon Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)

Creeping Lemon Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)

Creeping lemon thyme forms a tight mat of evergreen foliage that emits a delightful lemony scent! The plant will withstand heavy foot traffic, and makes an excellent groundcover. It also looks nice spilling over container edges. The leaves may be used fresh or dried to add flavor to meat dishes, marinades, vinegars and stuffing. Dried leaves are nice for adding to homemade potpourri. The flowers are an important nectar source for honeybees!
Lemon Mint (Mentha x piperita citrata)

Lemon Mint (Mentha x piperita citrata)

Lemon mint produces leaves with a distinct lemon-mint flavor and fragrance. Snip a few fresh leaves and add them iced tea, or use dried leaves to brew your own homemade herbal tea. The leaves can also be used to add a zesty flavor to salads, jellies or lamb dishes. It is best to grow this vigorous plant in containers on the patio or a sunny windowsill to keep it from spreading. Bees will love this plant!
Lime Thyme (Thymus x citriodorus)

Lime Thyme (Thymus x citriodorus)

Lime thyme is a very useful plant for both the landscape and the kitchen! The tiny lime-scented leaves can be used fresh or dried to flavor fish, poultry, stuffing or soup. Dried leaves can be used to brew a delicious tea or added to potpourris and sachets. Plant in herb beds or mingle with other herbs and annuals in mixed borders. Lime Thyme is superb for containers on patios and decks, or bring it indoors and grow it on a sunny windowsill.
Sage ‘Tangerine’ (Salvia elegans)

Sage ‘Tangerine’ (Salvia elegans)

‘Tangerine’ sage is a delightful herb native to Mexico and Guatemala and prized for its tangerine scented and flavored foliage. The flowers are edible as well, and can be used to add color to salads or as a garnish on the dinner plate. Try adding a few fresh leaves to iced tea for a citrusy burst of flavor. This selection is superb for planting near walkways, decks and patios where its intoxicating scent can be enjoyed. The flowers are a hummingbird magnet!
Mint ‘Grapefruit’ (Mentha aquatica citrata)

Mint ‘Grapefruit’ (Mentha aquatica citrata)

The leaves of grapefruit mint are larger than other varieties and emit a light grapefruit scent. They can be used as a unique garnish on the dinner plate. Snip a few fresh leaves and add them to iced tea to give it a light citrus flavor. Plant in pots and place on a patio or a sunny windowsill to enjoy the intoxicating fragrance and keep the plant from spreading.
Lime Basil (Ocimum americanum)

Lime Basil (Ocimum americanum)

The leaves of this annual herb have a distinct citrus flavor and aroma, as well as a discernable basil taste. Plant in patio pots or along walkways to enjoy the intoxicating fragrance. Lime basil is perfect for adding a zesty lime flavor to fish dishes or salads. Also excellent for adding flavor to soups and sauces,
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm is a perennial herb that has been cultivated for over 2,000 years, originally as a bee plant. Its lemon-scented leaves are very popular for brewing a calming tea. The leaves can also be used to flavor soups, salads, fish dishes and herb vinegars. Dried leaves can be added to homemade potpourri or herb pillows. This plant is very nice for growing along walkways or in patio containers, where the scent can be appreciated. Bees love this plant!
Orange Mint ‘citrata’ (Mentha x piperita)

Orange Mint ‘citrata’ (Mentha x piperita)

Orange mint is a hardy perennial herb with dark green glossy leaves marked with a purple edge and underside. Lilac-pink blooms in summer add to its appeal. Very desirable herb garden addition also looks great in any bed, border or container. The dry leaves can be used for tea. Popular for sachets and potpourri.

Fruit Flavored Herbs

Herbs with fruity notes are perfect for enhancing naturally sweet food and beverage recipes. Fruit flavored herbs are especially popular for adding a sprig to iced beverages, smoothies, or cocktails. The foliage and flowers make a nice garnish for a tray of baked goods, decorating a cake or fruit tart, and serving with fresh fruits and berries. These plants also bring sweet fragrance to the garden, and many have nectar-rich flowers that attract pollinators and hummingbirds!

Grape Scented Sage (Salvia melissodora)

Grape Scented Sage (Salvia melissodora)

Grape scented sage is a rugged, woody shrub native to mountainous regions of Mexico. It produces lovely gray-green foliage and spikes of grape-scented, lavender-blue blooms that appear in spring and continue right through the fall. The nectar-rich flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The leaves and flowers can be used for tea. This plant has been used by the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Treat as a perennial in frost-free regions.
Blackcurrant Sage, Little Leaf Sage (Salvia microphylla)

Blackcurrant Sage, Little Leaf Sage (Salvia microphylla)

Blackcurrant sage is a shrubby perennial plant that can be found growing wild in the southern United States and throughout the mountainous regions of Mexico and Central America. The edible leaves have the smell and flavor of blackcurrant and are popular for making tea. Spikes of red flowers appear in the spring, with another flush of flowers in the fall. The blooms are a great source of nectar that will attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. This plant was previously classified as Salvia grahamii and may still go by the common name, Graham’s sage and baby sage.
Fruit Scented Sage, Peach Sage (Salvia dorisiana)

Fruit Scented Sage, Peach Sage (Salvia dorisiana)

Fruit scented sage is a tropical, shrubby plant native to Honduras. The plants produce lightly hairy, heart-shaped leaves with a fruity, peach-like scent and flavor. Beautiful stalks of large, tubular, magenta-pink flowers appear in spring and continue over a long bloom season. This is a favorite of hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Flowers can be used to add color to a salad or beverage and the leaves can be used for tea or dried for potpourri. Grow this plant as a perennial in frost-free regions.
Honeydew Sage ‘Honey Melon’ (Salvia elegans)

Honeydew Sage ‘Honey Melon’ (Salvia elegans)

‘Honey Melon’ sage is a hybrid form of the pineapple sage, a species native to Mexico. This is one of the earliest flowering sages with brilliant scarlet red, tubular flowers appearing in early summer and continuing into fall. The dense clump of sweet, melon-scented foliage spreads via underground runners. The nectar-rich, red flowers are sure to attract hummingbirds! Grow as a perennial in frost-free regions.
Mint ‘Strawberry’ (Mentha spicata citrata)

Mint ‘Strawberry’ (Mentha spicata citrata)

A must-have for your mint collection! ‘Strawberry’ mint is a charming compact variety that produces strawberry-scented foliage with deeply veined, crinkly-looking leaves. Short flower spikes appear in summer packed with liny lavender-pink flowers. The blooms will attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. ‘Strawberry’ mint doesn’t grow as aggressively as some other mint varieties. The compact plants are sized right for growing in pots or a window box.
Mint ‘Berries and Cream’ (Mentha hybrid)

Mint ‘Berries and Cream’ (Mentha hybrid)

Mint breeder James Westerfield introduced yet another winner with this compact, perennial herb. ‘Berries and Cream’ has a warm, soothing aroma and flavor that hints of berries and mint. Its deep green leaves and mauve flowers in summer are visually appealing, as well. Very desirable herb garden addition also looks great in any bed, border or container. The dry leaves can be used for tea. Popular for sachets and potpourri.
Sage ‘Pineapple’ (Salvia elegans)

Sage ‘Pineapple’ (Salvia elegans)

Prized for its pineapple scented and flavored foliage! Try adding a few fresh leaves to iced tea or mixed drinks for a citrusy burst of flavor. The edible scarlet-red flowers are a magnet for hummingbirds and bees, and can be used to add color to salads or as a unique garnish on the dinner plate. Pineapple Sage looks spectacular when massed in beds and borders.
Apple Mint (Mentha suaveolens)

Apple Mint (Mentha suaveolens)

Apple-scented foliage with a hint of mint is a fragrant addition to the garden. Whorls of purple blooms in summer are an added bonus. Attracts bees and butterflies to the garden. Very desirable herb garden addition also looks great in any bed, border or container. The dry leaves can be used for tea. Popular for sachets and potpourri.
Variegated Pineapple Mint ‘Variegata’ (Mentha suaveolens)

Variegated Pineapple Mint ‘Variegata’ (Mentha suaveolens)

Delicious pineapple scent sets this plant apart from other mints. Bright green and creamy white variegated foliage is an attractive addition to the herb garden or planted among flowers in beds and borders. Blooms in the summer attract bees and butterflies to the garden. The dry leaves can be used for tea. Popular for sachets and potpourri.

Growing Your Own Herbs

Most herbs are easy to care for and adaptable to growing in a garden, pot, outdoor window box, or indoors in a bright window. If you’re new to growing herbs and need tips to get your started, see our collection of articles, All About Growing and Using Herbs. There you’ll also find information on preserving and storing herbs.

Woman taking cuttings from a potted purple basil plant with other potted herbs in the background.

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