Monday, May 12, 2008

English tea pot and Lemon verbena


My English tea pot
Originally uploaded by scottfeldstein
Do you grow herbs for tea? Lemon verbena is a favorite of mine. Here is a bit about it, from my article "Herbal Teas" in the June/July 2008 issue of Country Woman.
Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla) has a clean, fresh scent that was said to have been Laura Ingalls Wilder's favorite fragrance.


This herb thrives in containers, where it reaches 2 to 3 feet high, or in the ground, reaching heights of 5 to 10 feet where winters are mild.
It grows best in zones 5-9. Pinch it to keep it thick and bushy, or train it as a standard, where it can reach small tree heights. The leaves brew into an excellent hot or iced tea, and also add appealing accents in black tea or mint tea.

6 comments:

Prairie Rose said...

Lemon verbena was a Michael Landon addition... it was never mentioned in the "Little House" books or in reference to the real Laura. Just tv Laura.

GardenAuthor said...

I just love this herb! And don't I remember references to lemon verbena on Little House on the Prairie? Or was it vanilla extract that "Half-Pint" wore as a fragrance? Anyway, I remember references to lemon verbena as both a tea and old time fragrance. I'm in Zone 5, but it's pretty iffy for us, over winter. I've had better success trimming it back and wintering it over in the house.

Terra, this is a most interesting blog... nice mix of topics. I especially enjoyed your strawberry posting - very informative! And thanks for your recent visit/ Deb

Becky said...

Yes i have grown herbs for tea and this year it is
chamomile. My favorite.

primrozie said...

I don't have the right conditions for ghowing verbena, but I grow lemon balm for tea. Also, bee balm grows wild here and is excellent for tea.

Thanks for stopping by!45778

Terra Hangen said...

Hi Friends,
Your comments on the delightful Lemon verbena are welcome. Now I must pick up a copy of book 4 of the Wilder books, and see if lemon verbena is really mentioned in the book, or if it was added in the tv show. Apparently Laura's teacher loved this fragrance, but now I wonder if it was only in the tv show.
Being a librarian, I love research questions.

Brenda Hyde said...

I wondered too about lemon verbena being in the books because it's not hardy and they were on the prairie, so that would have had cold winters. Either way, I LOVE lemon verbena-- I pick it up at nurseries when I can and it grows pretty large by winter, so it's worth it. I also grow lemon balm and lemon thyme. What is it about those lemon herbs?