Lemon Verbena has a citrusy fragrance and a pretty light green foliage. The leaves can be used in a variety of cooking: including limoncello. I grow it in a foot-square patch under a fruit tree
It’s an herb with a strong lemon flavor.. Lemon verbena’s flavor is also rounded out by the lack of acidity that comes with lemons, and a distinctly herbal green flavor that comes from the leaves, similar to lemon basil. You’ll only find it at herbs & greens sellers at farmers’ markets, but it also grows really well in the Sunnyvale climate and makes a great addition to the garden.
The oils that scent lemon verbena have moderate antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and have anti-candida albicans activity (a fungus that is naturally part of normal gut flora, but that can become opportunistic when immunity is compromised and cause infection).
You’ll often see lemon verbena as a scent ingredient in soaps and perfumes, but it makes a delicious tea when brewed on its own or in a mixture with other herbs. Lemon verbena is an ideal choice for simple syrups you can drizzle over fruit, mix into whipped cream or add to cocktails. A great way to enjoy the flavor is a refreshing herbal & floral ice cream.
5 ways to use fresh lemon verbena:
- Infuse lemon verbena flavor into oil for use in your favorite recipes: lemon verbena oil.
- Use your favorite white wine vinegar to extract the flavor of lemon verbena into a flavored vinegar: lemon verbena vinegar.
- Blend lemon verbena leaves into a zingy pesto for dressing grilled vegetables or chicken: lemon verbena pesto.
- Add the brightness of chiffonaded lemon verbena to an aioli dressing that goes well with greens or over fish: lemon verbena dressing.
- Use lemon verbena as a flavor agent when brining meats before cooking: verbena-brined pork chops.
Family: Verbenaceae (ver-be-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aloysia (al-uh-WIZH-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: triphylla (try-FIL-uh) (Info)
Category: Herbs, Perennials
Height: 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
Spacing: 6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Pink, White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall
Foliage: Grown for foliage, Aromatic
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic), 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral), 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From softwood cuttings
Seed Collecting: N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
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