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Synonyms: Verbena triphylla L’Hér., Verbena citriodora Cav., Lippia triphylla, Lippia citriodora, Aloysia citriodora (Cav.) Ort.Aloysia triphylla
Common Names:vervain,lemon verbena and lemon beebrush
Lemon verbena is a perennial shrub or subshrub growing to 2–3 m high. The 8 cm long glossy, pointed leaves are slightly rough to the touch and emit a powerful scent reminiscent of lemon when bruised (hence the Latin specific epithet citrodora—lemon-scented).It is hardy to zone 8 . It is in leaf from May to November, in flower in August, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
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Sprays of tiny lilac or white flowers appear in late Spring or early Summer. It is sensitive to cold, losing leaves at temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) although the wood is hardy to ?10 °C (14 °F). Due to its many culinary uses, it is widely listed and marketed as a plant for the herb garden.
Succeeds in most moderately fertile soils if they are well-drained. Prefers a light soil. Requires a sunny sheltered position. Requires a warm damp climate. A very ornamental plant, lemon verbena is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain, growing well in Cornwall. It can withstand about 10°c of frost and survives outdoors on a wall at Kew. It generally survives most winters outdoors if growing in a suitable position, though it is often cut back to ground level and then resprouts from the base in late spring or early summer. Giving the roots a good, thick organic mulch will confer extra protection from winter cold. The plant succeeds outdoors at Howick, a garden on the coast of Northumberland. The leaves are very aromatic with a lemon scent, they are often used to make a drink or for their essential oils. There has been considerable confusion over the naming of this species. We are following the treatment used in and , which is also the current treatment in the 1999 edition of The Plant Finder. However, the book ‘World Economic Plants’ uses the name A. citrodora Palau (a different author to the one we cite) as the correct name. Any pruning is best carried out in the spring. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus.
Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in late spring. Only just cover the seed and keep in a light position, making sure the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in early summer and give some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of softwood, May/June in a frame. Grow on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts. The cuttings root quickly and easily, though there can be losses in the first winter[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Grow on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts[K]. The cuttings root quickly and easily, though there can be losses in the first winter
Leaves are occasionally cooked as a spinach but more commonly used as a flavouring in salads, fruit salads etc. A delicious lemon-like flavour, it is adored by most people who try it. A delicious and refreshing tea is made from the leaves. The dried leaves will retain their lemon aroma for many years.
Antispasmodic; Aromatherapy; Febrifuge; Sedative; Stomachic.
An undervalued medicinal herb, lemon verbena contains a strong lemon-scented essential oil that has calming and digestive qualities. The plant has a gentle sedative action and a reputation for soothing abdominal discomfort. It has a mildly tonic effect upon the nervous system and helps to lift the spirits and counter depression. The leaves and the flowering tops are antispasmodic, febrifuge, sedative and stomachic. A tea made from the leaves has a deliciously refreshing lemon flavour and is used mainly in treating digestive disorders such as flatulence, indigestion and acidity. Some caution is advisable though, since prolonged use or large internal doses can cause gastric irritation. The herb is also useful as a stimulant for treating lethargy or depression whilst it is also used to treat feverish colds. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy in the treatment of nervous and digestive problems and also for acne, boils and cysts.
Infuse as a mildly sedative tea to soothe bronchial and nasal congestion, to reduce indigestion, flatulence, stomach cramps, nausea and palpitations. Lemon verbena is especially useful for women. In the past, midwives gave a woman in the last phases of childbirth a strong tea to stimulate contractions of the uterus. Ancient Egyptian medicine included it for this purpose. Today, verbaline has been isolated from the plant and used as a stimulant for uterus contractions. Do not use the oil internally during pregnancy. Used as a cold compress or in an aroma lamp, it is wonderfully refreshing and aids the birth process where stamina is required. It has also been said to stimulate milk production and to be helpful for infertility. Its tonic effect on the nervous system is less pronounced than that of lemon balm, but nonetheless helps to counter depression.
Essential; Insecticide; Pot-pourri; Repellent.
An essential oil obtained from the leaves is extensively used in perfumery. An average yield of 0.5% is obtained. There is some evidence that the use of this oil can sensitise the skin to sunlight and so its use has been largely replaced by the tropical plant lemongrass, Cymbopogon spp.. The dried leaves retain their fragrance well and so are used in pot-pourri. The growing plant repels midges, flies and other insects. The essential oil is an effective insecticide in 1 – 2% concentration.
Leaves: Crushed DriedThe leaves are very aromatic with a strong lemon scent.
The essential oil from the plant might sensitise the skin to sunlight
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider