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Products > Aloysia citriodora
Aloysia citriodora - Lemon Verbena

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Aloysia citriodora
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.

Plant in full sun and give occasional to only little summer water. Prefers a sunny, coastal environment with growth tips that 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. Needs regular pruning to keep its shape and keep more compact and is also good to interplant with other plants to hide/overcome its leggy nature.

Aloysia citriodora 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 information about Aloysia citriodora displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.