Lemon verbena, also known as Aloysia triphylla, is generally known to be one of the most strongly scented and intense of the lemon scented plants. Although lemon verbena is native to South America, it has become an easily accessible plant in most countries. The perennial can stand 2-3 feet high and has small purplish-white flowers. Plants grown in shade will be less flavorful. Plants remain evergreen in frost free climates.
Lemon Verbena is commonly used in many different culinary dishes. It can be used in place of lemon zest in recipes. My favorite way to use lemon verbena leaves is by making jelly.
• 1 1/2 cups lemon verbena leaves
• 2 cups water
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 3 1/2 cups sugar
• 3 ounces liquid pectin
Makes approximately 32 ounce
- Puree leaves in blender and bring to boil with water. Let steep for 15 minutes before straining.
- Add vinegar and sugar. Mix well and bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
- Add the liquid pectin and continue to boil for 1 minute more.
- Skim foam from the Lemon Verbena Jelly with a spoon if necessary and pour into jars.
The essential oil of lemon verbena contains a high concentration of many antioxidant compounds, including verbascoside, nerol, geraniol, and citral. The oil glands of the leaf are on the underside and are used to cool the plant during hot summers. The leaves can be dried and then steeped to make a wonderful tea. Lemon verbena’s active ingredients could potentially worsen kidney disease.
Lemon verbena is not available as seed. I buy my plants at https://wrightgardens.com/product/aloysia-triphylla-lemon-verbena/