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ALOYSIA triphylla

Image of Aloysia triphylla

Jesse Saylor

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

ALOYSIA triphylla

Plant Common Name

Lemon Verbena

General Description

Lemon verbena to North American gardeners, Herb Louisa to European gardeners, Aloysia triphylla is a tender deciduous shrub grown for the odor of its leaves, an extraordinarily pleasant and sweet lemony scent released by untouched leaves and by bruised or crushed leaves alike. The flowers, which appear in late Spring, are white to pale lavender and insignificant and the ornamental value of the plant lies in its canopy of narrow leaves.

Lemon verbena grows best on well-drained, slightly poor alkaline soil but tolerates a range of average soils. It needs regular moisture to remain leafy. In warm climates, it needs a little shade and can become a large, lanky shrub. Prune it regularly to keep it in bounds and to prompt new growth and fresh crops of leaves. In temperate to cool climates, it grows best in full sun, dies back over winter and remains a small shrub. Where not hardy, it can be grown in a container and brought indoors for the winter. Where hardy, it can also be grown as a herbaceous perennial by pruning it to the ground in winter. This is a handy way to grow the plant in a limited space or small yard and have the fragrance where you want it.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 11

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    0'-10' / 0.0m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Summer

  • Native To

    Argentina, Chile

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No