lemon verbena(redirected from lemon verbenas)
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(Lippia citriodora), or South American lippia, a semishrub of the family Verbenaceae that produces volatile oil. Native to South America.
The plant’s stalk reaches 2 m and is straight and bare, with whorls of pointed, lancelike solid-edged leaves. Its flowers are small, with a white corolla that has a purple interior. The fruit is a dry dicotyledonous stone, covered by a calyx. The leaves and flowers contain a volatile oil (containing more than 30 percent citral) that has a pleasant smell and is used in the perfume and food industries. In the USSR lemon verbena can be cultivated in Tadzhikistan and Azerbaijan. Under cultivation lemon verbena multiplies basically by grafts. In the fall grassy shoots 5-8 cm long are planted in hothouses and are replanted into a nursery in the spring. (They are mulched for warmth in the winter.) In the spring the shoots are replanted in the ground, 100 cm apart, with 150 cm between rows. Care for the plantings consists of weeding, harrowing, periodic irrigation, and feeding with nitric and phosphorous fertilizer. In the fall the cuttings are mulched. In spring of the following year they are uncovered, and winter-damaged shoots are pruned. Thereafter the stalks are cut every fall to a height of 30 cm and are mulched. The crop can be harvested in the third year after planting. The first cutting of greens is during blooming (in August), and the second is in October.
A. A. KHOTIN