About this cultivar:
Melissa officinalis 'Aurea' (v) is a slightly smaller, variegated form of the common lemon balm that won't seed as rampantly. Flowers white in the summer.
Claimed to have antiviral and antibacterial properties, the leaves of this bushy, perennial herb will release a strong lemon fragrance when they are bruised. They are useful for creating calming teas, lemon balm pesto or flavouring drinks (like Pimms) fruit or fish dishes. The crushed leaves are also said to help keep mosquitoes at bay when they are rubbed onto the skin, while the nectar-rich flowers, which appear in summer, are a firm favourite of bees.
- Position: Full sun, partial shade
- Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
- Flowers: June, July, August
- Other features: Bees and Butterflies, Scented
- Hardiness: Fully hardy, grows well in Ballyrobert
- Habit: Clump forming, bushy
- Foliage: Deciduous
- Height: 45 - 75 cm (1.5 - 2.5 ft)
- Spread: 30 - 60 cm (1 - 2 ft)
- Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
- Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
- Colour: Green, yellow
- Goes well with: -
About this genus:
Melittis (Mel-it-is) has the charming common name of Bastard Balm. It is a monotypic (one species) genus in the mint family that is native to England and Wales. It produces a typical mint-like flower in the summer shaped like a small tube that flares open at the end into 3 lower and 1 upper lobes.
Melittis flowers are honey-scented and are normally white with the lower central lobe a contrasting color of pink or purple...a landing strip of sorts for the busy bees that love it. In fact the genus name is derived from the Greek melitta, which is in turn from melissa ("a bee").
Melittis leaves, in true mint fashion, are very aromatic. Although a newly-bruised leaf does not have a pleasant scent, when dried,Melittis smells sweet and pleasant like freshly cut hay.
Melittis is a, herbaceous perennial that looks best in an informal mixed border. Part shade woodland conditions and somewhat moist soils are the preferred growing conditions for Melittis. If there is enough moisture it will grow in full sun in these islands.