bitter greens


Senior Member
French - France
Hello all,

I'm wondering what the best French translation would be for "bitter greens". I know the words refer to plants such as sage, thyme, wintercress, rosemary, etc.
I've already thought about a few translations:
- plantes aromatiques
- aromates
- plantes médicinales
- simples...
But I wonder what bitter means exactly. Does it refer to their bitter taste? Or to the fact that they're medicinal plants (like in bitter aloes => aloès médicinal)?

Thanks in advance
  • Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I wouldn't include sage, thyme and rosemary in a list of bitter greens; instead I'd expect endive, chicory, arugula if we're talking about bitter salad greens, or if we're talking about cooked greens, then collards, mustard and beet greens (the tops/leaves of plants with a different primary use), even dandelion leaves. Bitter = amer. Feuilles ou salades amères ?
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    French - France
    The first time I heard about "bitter greens", I thought it was something like salad. But I recently read Bitter Greens, a fairy tale retelling by Kate Forsyth. In it, the plants called bitter greens look more like medicinal plants. Here's an excerpt from the novel:

    "parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, chives, sage, wintercress and the little rampion bellflower that Margherita’s mother had always called rapunzel.
    A harvest of bitter greens for Margherita's thirteenth birthday.

    That's the reason why I suddenly thought "bitter greens" didn't mean salads, etc.
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