Melissa Officinalis

(Lemon Balm)

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Melissa Officinalis
This is an herbaceous deciduous perennial in the mint family with crinkled, light green leaves which give off a distinct lemon fragrance when crushed. These are strongly toothed with egg-shaped margins and an attractive hairy texture. Between June and September it produces small, elongated white flowers which are arranged in whorls at leaf nodes on upright stems.

Culinary Uses: Lemon Balm has a delicate lemon flavour, and can be used in many dishes. The chopped fresh leaves can be tossed into a salad or added to a sweet or tangy dish to add a lemony zest. It also makes a wonderful addition to herb butters, fruit drinks, ice creams and sorbets, as well as herbal teas, particularly as it has a relaxing and calming effect. It’s believed that teas made from lemon balm can be used to reduce or eliminate migraine headaches, toothaches and other pains of the mouth, and even relieve stress. Combining well with bay leaves, spearmint, pepper, rosemary and thyme, it makes an eye-catching garnish and its subtle flavour is great for using in egg dishes, custards, soups and casseroles. It makes an excellent stuffing for poultry, lamb or pork and can create a perfect sauce or marinade for fish.

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Characteristics


Eventual Height
Max Height icon 50cm – 1m


Eventual Spread
Max Width Icon 50cm – 1m


Growth Rate
Growth Rate Icon Average to fast


Foliage
Deciduous Icon Deciduous


Habit
Habit Icon Compact


Hardiness
Hardiness Icon H6


Fragranced
Fragranced Icon Yes

Colour


Spring
Green Foliage Icon

 


Summer

Green Foliage Icon White Flower Icon

 


Autumn
Green Foliage Icon White Flower Icon

Soil


Type
Sand Soil Icon Sand

Loam Soil Icon Loam

Chalk Soil Icon Chalk

Clay Soil Icon Clay


Moisture
Soil Moisture Icon Well-drained


pH
Soil pH Acid Icon Acid

Soil PH Neutral Icon Neutral

Soil pH Alkaline Icon Alkaline

Position


Sunlight
Full Sun Icon Full Sun

Partial Shade Icon Partial Shade


Aspect
Aspect North Icon North

Aspect South Icon South

Aspect East Icon East

AspectWest West


Exposure
Exposure Icon Exposed or Sheltered

Melissa Officinalis

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