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Lemon verbena is also known as Cedron and Lemon Beebrush, and this fabulous herb is an excellent addition to the herb garden. Preferring light, well-drained soil and a sunny, sheltered position, lemon verbena will respond well to being cut back hard, as this keeps the plant from becoming straggly.
Lemon verbena or Aloysia triphylla is a deciduous perennial shrub native to South America, but is now found in North America and Europe. It is not a showy plant, but it does have attractive leaves and should always be included in herbs gardens designed for scent, pot pourri and culinary uses. Its flowers are fairly unassuming, and appear in summer as racemes of small white or pale mauve blooms. The plant grows to a height of 2 metres and gives out a powerful lemony scent which intensifies when the leaves are rubbed or crushed.
As a herb or garden plant lemon verbena isn't as widely used in the kitchen or as part of home remedies as it should be. Only 100 years ago, it was a common ornamental plant found in European gardens, but today it is rarely planted. In folklore lemon verbena is linked with purification and love and was said to help attract a suitor. Made as a tea, lemon verbena is said to prevent a person from dreaming. The leaves can be used in sweet and savoury dishes, homemade pot pourris, scented sachets and bath teas.