Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae
Common Name: Lemon Balm

Native to southern Europe and some parts of Asia, this hardy perennial is grown for the fresh, lemon-flavored fragrance of the leaves. Used mostly in herbal teas for soothing benefit, the leaves are also added to stews, sauces and soups as a substitute for lemon. Only one of the three species has been cultivated. M. officinalis has small, greenish white flowers and leaves resembling nettle. It grows to about 70 cm (28 in). The cultivar 'Aurea' has gold-flecked leaves.


Suited to warm and cool climates, though not to the tropics, balm will grow in any garden soil, but likes a sunny aspect. It spreads rapidly, dying down in winter and shooting again in spring. Propagate from seed, sown in early spring, or by division of the roots at the end of summer or in early autumn.


Zone 4.

Lemon      Lemon Grass