Lemon myrtle- Backhousia citriodora
This wonderful Aussie native is often referred to the “queen of the lemon herbs”. It has a very strong lemon taste and aroma. We have a couple growing on our place and as you walk past and pluck a couple of leaves off, rub them in your hands, you are blessed with the nicest lemon smell. I rub it around my ears, neck and arms, hoping that any bitey bugs might try to avoid me! If not, I’ll just smell nice.
It’s endemic to subtropical rainforests in Australia. Our First Nations people have long used it in cooking and for medicine. The leaves can be used fresh or dried, in tea, pasta, fish, chicken, cheesecakes. It possesses anti microbial properties, especially the essential oil. The oil is popular in health care and cleaning products, especially soap, creams and shampoo.
It prefers a warm, sunny or partial shady spot. Sheltered from frost and cold winds. Well drained soil but well watered. Can grow from 3-8 mts but can be kept in a pot. Bird and bee attracting, it’s a lovely addition to any garden. Harvest, extremely simple, just pluck fresh leaves as needed.
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