Monday, January 5, 2015

Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis
A rhizomatous, dense spreading perennial reaching up to 2 feet in height, it may become invasive on some sites if not contained. It is native from southern Europe to the Caucasus.
The tender young leaves can be added to cooked food and salads.
The toothed, ovate or triangular leaves are up to 2.8 inches in length. They can be used to make a very good lemon flavored tea. Lemon Balm can be used as an insect repellent to repel mosquitos and blackflies.
The flowers are borne early summer to early autumn.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on just about any moist, fertile, well drained.
Propagation is from seed which often occurs naturally, as well as from root division.

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


'Aurea'
Foliage boldly edged in golden-yellow; otherwise similar to species.

* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

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