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Lemon Verbena leaf
Lippia citriodora (Verbenaceae)
Habitat and appearance: Native to Chile and Peru, it is now widely cultivated in Europe. This is a deciduous perennial shrub and the whole plant abounds with fragrant, volatile oil. The leaves have a strong lemony fragrance and are pale green, of medium length and lanceolate with parallel veins. They are arranged in threes along the stems, which form a sparse branched system. Is height varies from 30cm-3.5m, depending on the age of the specimen. It flowers in August, producing terminal panicles made up of many small flowers, which are pale purple.
Garden suitability: If a sheltered, dry, southerly aspect exists, especially against a wall, this plant can survive a milder British winter in the middle to southern counties. Otherwise, it is best grown in a large clay pot and brought in during winter. It particularly enjoys light, gritty soil and rewards a correct environment with a heavenly scent.