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Figure 10.—Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Melissa officinalis L.

Other common names.—Lemon balm, garden balm, pimentary, goose tongue, honey plant, sweet-mary, lemon lobelia.

Habitat and range.—Balm is found sparingly in waste places, thickets, and woods from Maine to Georgia, Missouri, and Arkansas, also in Oregon and California.

Description.—This plant is 1 to 2 1/2 feet high, its covered with fine hair, and has a rather stout, erect, or much-branched stem. The round-toothed, egg-shaped or heart-shaped leaves are from 1 to 2 1/2 inches long and arranged opposite one another on the stem. From June to August the white or cream-colored tube-shaped flowers up to two-thirds of an inch long appear, several to a cluster, in the axils of the leaves. The plant is lemon scented.

Part used.—The herb.

Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update Wednesday, March 11, 1998 by aw