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Identifying Unknown Plants/Unknown plant - need help

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Question
Unknown plant
Unknown plant  

Unknown plant
Unknown plant  
Dear Susan,

I have a plant in my garden which I cannot identify.

It looks like a some kind of salad but it is not eatable, and
also it smells like peppermint or something similar. I live in
Belgrade (Serbia) and this plant is in vicinity of the city, around 50 km to the south in my garden.

Could you please help me and find out
which herb is this?

Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,
Ivan Matejić
Belgrade, RS

Answer
Hi Ivan,
This is an herb called Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita).  It was used before Hops to flavor beer - it is also called Alecost.  In medieval times it was used as a bookmark in bibles.  Drowsy church goers would sniff or chew on a leaf, so it's other common name is "Bible Leaf".  It has a history of medicinal use for all sorts of ailments, but is not much sought after as a remedy today.  It's not toxic, but the flavor is rather overpowering, so it's not used much in cooking.  It makes a nice garnish for a glass of iced tea or lemonade.  It makes a good addition to potpourri, as it retains it's sent after drying.  It may have some bug repellent properties; in the dark ages it was strewn on floors.
Thank you for your question.
Susan

Identifying Unknown Plants

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Susan Tabor

Expertise

I can identify most weeds, ornamentals,and wild plants by description or photo. If it is completely unknown to me, I can usually type info into a botanical search engine and find it. I am familiar with unusual plants from all over the world.

Experience

Thirty-five years of research and experience in horticulture.

Education/Credentials
You already have that information. I'm just listing myself in a new catagory.

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