Lemon is a most pleasing scent for most herb lovers. It can come from a multitude of different herbs, either as the main fragrance, or as a delicate note that is brightens the scent.
Lemon herbs are popular for teas and cooking recipes. They bring a bright, cheerful flavor to lighter foods like pastas, fish, and chicken, and can make a not-so-tasty tea become palatable.
Here are 5 herbs that all have a lemony flavor to them. Enjoy!
Lemon verbena Aloysia triphyllahas a powerfully strong lemon scent. I enjoy growing it for the *clean lemon* type fragrance that it has. To me, it smells like Pledge, without the chemical chaser.
It is refreshing and uplifting, perfect for making an herbal vinegar for a household cleaner, or window spray.
Lemon verbena is not just for room cleaning and freshening. It's calming lemon flavor holds up very well when dried, so it stands up well in a tea mixture, too. My children seem to drink any herb tea blend I offer, with a little lemon verbena in the mix. Lemon verbena also makes a fantastic scent in goat milk soap.
For more uses with Lemon Verbena, see:
2. Lemon Balm
Perhaps the most well known of the lemon scented herbs, Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis is a juicy, lemony herb that is in the mint family. You know with a background like that, lemon balm will grow like crazy and can take over a yard if not kept contained. Luckily, it is just as easy as any mint to grow, so place it in a pot and then plant that into the ground. This keeps the roots from spreading everywhere.
Lemon balm can be cut numerous times during the season. Keep it trimmed to a reasonable size, and keep drying those beautiful leaves all the time. That winter, you will have plenty of lemon balm for cooking and teas.
For more uses with Lemon Balm, see:
Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratusis an unusual herb that doesn't get as much attention as it deserves in North America. It's too bad, because lemon grass is certainly delicious. It is a tall, grass-like herb, making it a fun annual to grow in pots, then being harvested when you take the pot apart at the end of the season.
To use lemongrass over the winter, freeze the whole thing, and use it as you would fresh, as needed. It does loose its flavor quickly when dried (although it is possible to dry it, and if used fairly soon after drying, it should be fine).
For more uses with Lemongrass, see:
4. Lemon Basil
Lemon Basil, Ocimum americanum, is a lovely, lemony scented basil that is an exciting flavor to explore. If you love basil, then you know that lemon is a wonderful partner to this flavorful herb. Why not grow a type of basil that combines both flavors in one? Try substituting lemon basil for any recipe that calls for sweet basil.
For more uses with Lemon Basil, see:
5. Lemon Thyme
True to its name, lemon thyme Thymus x citriodorus 'Aureus', has all the resinous flavor of thyme that we all love, yet it also has a true citrus scent of lemon in every leaf. The pronounced cheerful lemon flavor adds a unique touch to your summer dishes, and just wait until you try it on grilled fish and asparagus.
Lemon thyme also has a pretty variegated leaf that adds interest to your borders and container herb gardens. What a bonus that it tastes as great as it looks.
Lemon thyme is a great way to make the traditional thyme tea that helps soothe sore throats
For more uses with Lemon Thyme, see: