Page author: David Giblin
Melissa officinalis

Distribution: Scattered localities across Washington; Alaska south to California; central and eastern North America.

Habitat: Roadsides and other disturbed habitats.

Flowers: June - August

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Lemon-scented, fibrous-rooted, perennial herb from a woody rhizome, the stem 3-10 dm. tall, usually branched, with fine, gray hairs, and some long, spreading hairs and stalked glands upward.


Leaves opposite, petiolate, the middle cauline ones ovate to deltoid, coarsely blunt-serrate, 4-9 cm. long and 2.5-5 cm. wide; the upper leaves gradually reduced and tapering to a short petiole.


Flowers on short pedicels in small verticels axillary to well-developed leaves; calyx bilabiate, 7-9 mm. long, 13-nerved, the upper lip flat, 3-toothed, the lower deeply 2-cleft, the teeth firm, pointed; corolla white to pinkish to light blue, 10-15 mm. long, bilabiate, the upper lip flat, with a small notch, the lower spreading and 3-lobed; stamens 4, ascending under the upper lip, the lower pair the longer.


Nutlets 4,

Accepted Name:
Melissa officinalis L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 592. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Melissa officinalis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Melissa officinalis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Melissa officinalis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Melissa officinalis photos.

USDA Plants: Melissa officinalis information.

10 photographs:
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