Scientific Name:
Melissa officinalis L.
Vernacular Name(s):
Balm; Bee balm; Lemon balm; Tea balm

Rhizomatous, lemon-scented herb with branched puberulent stems ascending to c. 60 cm. Lvs and bracts petiolate. Lamina 2–8.5 × 1–7 cm, elliptic to broad-ovate, hairy, sometimes only sparsely hairy above, prominently crenate-serrate; base ± truncate in larger lower lvs, cuneate in upper smaller lvs and bracts. Verticels generally 3–10-flowered. Calyx c. 8 mm long; nerves prominent, with long, white, pilose hairs; upper teeth broad-triangular, aristate; lower narrow-triangular, aristate. Corolla 12–15 mm long, white; lobes hairy outside. Nutlets 1.7–2 mm long, almost black.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Dec.–May.