Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citrodora) is an exceptional perennial herb known for its lemon-scented leaves and one of our favourites. It is native to South America, specifically Argentina and Chile. The plant belongs to the Verbenaceae family and is prized for its aromatic and culinary uses. It has a beautiful lemon fragrance; the leaves release a powerful citrus aroma when crushed or brushed against.

The leaves of Lemon Verbena are often used to add a lemony flavour to a variety of savoury dishes, beverages, and desserts. They can be used fresh or dried.

Traditionally, Lemon Verbena has been used in herbal medicine for various purposes. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and digestive properties. The tea made from its leaves is also thought to have calming effects.

The essential oil extracted from Lemon Verbena is used in aromatherapy for its uplifting and refreshing scent. It is believed to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Although not always readily available to buy as a fresh herb, lemon verbena can be found in most nurseries and is relatively easy to grow. It prefers well-drained soil and a sunny location. It is a tender perennial that may not survive freezing temperatures, so in colder climates, it is often grown as an annual or in containers that can be moved indoors during winter. Regular pruning helps maintain the plant’s shape and encourages new growth. 

Lemon Verbena adds extra sparkle to homemade lemonade, is a brilliant addition to a cocktail syrup, and added to sugar, it is excellent for rimming a margarita glass. This versatile ingredient adds a burst of freshness to vinaigrettes, salsas, marinades—anywhere you require an extra lemony hit. And, of course, it works wonders in desserts, sorbets, ice cream, and poached fruit such as our Poached Nectarines in Spiced Lemon Verbena & Prosecco Syrup. Its magnificence is truly unparalleled, and if you haven’t experienced it yet, we hope this inspires you to give it a try.