Melissa officinalis ssp. altissima

Cretan balm, melissa                                                                           Μελισσόχορτο

Lamiaceae - mint family                                                                                     Dicot.


Named after the greek for bee, melissa is a vigorous weed found in abandoned fields and on waste ground; it has crinkly, simple leaves typical of the mint family; pure white flowers arranged in whorls around square stems; and the whole is covered in hairs, which exude aromatic vapours. It is a plant typical of the Mediterranean biome.

The subspecies, altissima, contains a variety of essential oils and it is collected in Greece to make herbal tea. It does not contain citronellal, the chemical which gives the related lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) its characteristic  fragrance.

8-11mm,40-180cm, ℞,W,
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Matricaria chamomilla
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Nasturtium officinale