Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis

Origin – eastern Mediterranean

I have added lemon balm to List Three because I like it so much even if we’re not quite the best of friends yet. The leaves are a sensation in salad or just as you’re walking by, in summer drinks and as a garnish. A perennial that grows in the sun or shade can be propagated by seed, cutting or root division. There is supposed to be a pretty, small white flower but I haven’t seen it yet! I’m not sure who the disagreeable one is in this partnership as I’ve had to move my four year old lemon balm several times to keep it alive. In a moment of inspiration, I’ve split it up into two pots and I’ll plant one back out in the herb garden this wet to see if I can sort it out once and for all. There is a varied list of therapeutic uses for this herb. The beauty is the dose can be taken as a lovely, refreshing tea – hot or cold.


Lemon Myrtle  – Backhousia citriodora

Origin Australia

A tree that can grow over 20 metres in the rainforest we’re hoping to keep ours small. We’re interested in the therapeutic qualities of this plant. If you suffer cramps – this plant is for you. Make a tea with 1-3 leaves at night before retiring or, if you’re desperate in the night, take a leaf and chew. Or rub a crushed leaf onto the affected area. There are a host of other medicinal uses too. Lemon myrtle leaves can be used in cooking – simply add crushed leaves fresh or dried to taste. Propagation is by cuttings or seed.

Jo Martin, Grow Food Plant in Cairns, FNQ


aibika, amaranth, globe artichoke, asian greens (bokchoy/pakchoy/tatsoi/wong bok etc),  arrowroot, bamboo, bananas, beans (climbing/bush/french/winged/snake/madagascar/mung), beetroot, burdock, capsicum, carrots, cassava, celeriac, celery, ceylon spinach, chicory, chilli, chinese cabbage, chives, choko, collards, cowpeas, cucumber, daikon, eggplant, endives, eschallots, galangal, garlic, gooseberries, ginger, horse-radish, kale, kang-kong, kohl rabi, leeks, lettuce, tree lettuce, tropical lettuce, luffa, maize, marrow, mizuna, malabar greens, moringa, mulberry, mustard greens, new guinea bean (edible gourd), okra, pawpaw, peanuts, pigeon pea, pinto peanut, pumpkin, radish, rocket, rockmelon, rosellas, salsify, schallots, silverbeet, spring onions, strawberries, squash, swedes, sweetleaf, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, taro/coco-yam, tomatillos, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, warrigal greens, waterleaf, watermelon, yacon, yam and zucchini ~  herbs, flowers and wild-plants ~ angelica, arrowhead, basil, borage, chives, coriander, garlic chives, dill, fennel, lemon balm, lemongrass, mint, mushroom plant, oregano, papalo (mexican coriander), parsley, purslane, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, french tarragon, thai coriander, thyme, turmeric, lemongrass, don’t forget the pollinators ~ allysum, begonia, cosmos, marigold, nasturtium, petunias,  portulaca, salvias, summer savoury, sunflowers, zinnias…

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