Languages

Global menu

The Green pages

Lemon balm

English
  • Vegetables and herbs
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Josée Bouthot)
Melissa officinalis

Onglets

Botany

Origin and description

Lemon balm is native to North Africa, Asia and Europe. It has been cultivated since Antiquity as a condiment plant and for its nectar, which attracts bees. In fact, Melissa comes from a Greek word meaning “honey bee.” The leaves have a lemony fragrance and flavour.
Cycle: Perennial.
Spacing: 30-60 cm.
Height: 30-75 cm.

Common name

Lemon balm

Latin name (genus)

Melissa officinalis

English common name

French common name

Botanical family

  • Lamiaceae
Horticulture

Growing conditions

Exposure: full sun, partial shade.

Pruning and maintenance

Lemon balm reseeds vigorously.

Propagation

Sow seed indoors in March-April or outdoors in autumn.

Use

Culinary use: The leaves can be added fresh or dried to fish, rice, omelettes, salads and other dishes. They also make a fragrant addition to teas, herbal teas, liqueurs and cold beverages. Because their aroma is volatile, they should be added just before serving.

See also

Pests and diseases
Physiological disorders

Add this

Share this page