Widely available in Europe, this herb has lemon-scented, mint-like leaves that are often used to brew an aromatic tea (Tisane). Its slightly tart flavor is used to flavor salads as well as meats and poultry. Also called simply balm.
It grows to 70 – 150 cm tall. The leaves have a gentle lemon scent, related to mint. At the end of the summer, little white flowers full of nectar appear. These attract bees, hence the genus name Melissa (Greek for 'bee'). In mild temperate zones the stems of the plant die off at the start of the winter, but shoot up again in spring. Its flavour comes from the terpenes citronellal, citronellol, citral, and geraniol.