This upright perennial herb is loosely branched with coarse leaves and attracts attention more for its scent rather than its appearance. Releases a nice strong scent when touched. A useful plant for kitchen and garden. This member of the mint family, blooms with white-yellowish tubular flowers July-September. Use leaves in arrangements, teas and sachets for its relaxation qualities. Can be used to replace grated lemon rind in fish and chicken dishes. Preserve by air-drying.
HERB OF THE YEAR 2007 It's nickname melissa, which means "honeybee" in Greek, is a tribute to this distictive fragrance, which attracts swarms of bees to the plant.
Can tolerate dry soil, but scent will be stronger if grown in moist, fertile soil. To harvest, cut off the entire plant 2" from the ground before flowering. Mulch with compost each spring, lemon balm needs little extra fertilizer. After several years, plants can grow very large. Dig up and divide the plant or replace with a new one.