Basil has large, green fragrant leaves which can grow up to four inches. The color intensity of the leaves depends on the fertility of the soil, the richer the soil, the darker the color. It is a Mediterranean herb which thrives in warm nights and moist soil.
A bay leaf is dark green in color on the top of the leaf, and a lighter green underneath. They are narrow in shape and very firm. California bay leaf is higher in essential oils and stronger in flavor than imported leaves. The trees themselves grow to 60 feet tall.
Chervil's flavor is a cross between tarragon and parsley. Resembling its parsley cousin, (but much more fragrant) its leaves are thin, soft and look like small lacy ferns. Chervil prefers cool, shady locations in which to grow.
Chives are dark green in color, and have a mild onion flavor. The leaves are hollow and cylindrical, and grow to approximately six to eight inches long. Chives prefer moist, well-drained soil. Chive flowers, with their lavender-pink color, are also used in cooking.
Dill looks like a smaller version of fennel, with leaves that are feathery and dark. Dill is an annual that grows easily from seed. It enjoys direct sunlight, and does not store well when wet. It has a tangy citrus flavor which compliments any fish dish.