Balm. Melissa officinalis L.

Figure 10.—Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Other Common Names

Lemon balm, garden balm, pimentary, goose tongue, honey plant, sweet-mary, lemon lobelia.

Habitat And Range

Balm is found sparingly in waste places, thickets, and woods from Maine to Georgia, Missouri, and Arkansas, also in Oregon and California.


This plant is 1 to 2 1/2 feet high, its covered with fine hair, and has a rather stout, erect, or much-branched stem. The round-toothed, egg-shaped or heart-shaped leaves are from 1 to 2 1/2 inches long and arranged opposite one another on the stem. From June to August the white or cream-colored tube-shaped flowers up to two-thirds of an inch long appear, several to a cluster, in the axils of the leaves. The plant is lemon scented.

Part Used

The herb.