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Products > Aloysia citriodora
 
Aloysia citriodora - Lemon Verbena
  

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Verbenaceae (Vervains)
Origin: South America
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Lavender
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Synonyms: [Aloysia triphylla, Verbena citriodora, Lippia]
Height: 8-10 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Aloysia citriodora (Lemon Verbena) - A deciduous shrub or small tree up to 15 feet tall with 3 inch long narrow medium-green leaves, grouped in whorls of 3s, that have a lemony, aromatic foliage and at the tips of the branches form small pale lavender flowers in open clusters in summer and fall. Prefers a sunny, coastal environment. Needs regular pruning to keep its shape. Plant in full sun and give occasional to little summer water. Tips may be damaged by frost below 25 °F but this plant is noted as borderline hardy to as far north as Seattle if planted against a warm wall. It is a tough plant that is tolerant of heavy soils and wind. Prune often to shape and keep more compact or interplant with other plants to hide/overcome its leggy nature. This plant is native to much of South America, including Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru but was brought back to Europe from a collection near Buenos Aires by the French naturalist Philibert Commerson (1727 – 1773), who collected plants while accompanying Louis Antoine de Bougainville on his voyage around the world from 1766 to 1769. The plant made its way to the Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid and eventually became popular throughout southern Spain as Yerba Luisa and was described by Casimiro Gómez Ortega and Antonio Palau y Verdera under the name Aloysia citriodora to honor Maria Luisa, the Queen of Spain. When the plant was later described by Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle in Paris the name published was Verbena triphylla and this specific epithet was preserved when the genus Aloysia was resurrected. The correct name, as listed in The Plant List, is the original name Aloysia citriodora. The specific epithet references the citrus aroma of the foliage as do the common names Lemon Verbena and Lemon Beebrush. It is used to add a lemony flavor to beverages and food and is the plant referenced when there is talk about the "scent of verbena".  This description is based on our research and the observations we have made of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Aloysia citriodora.