Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
melissa:see bee balmbee balm,
name for several herbs, especially Melissa officinalis and Monarda didyma, both typical perennials of the family Labiatae (mint family) named for their fragrance, attractive to bees and hummingbirds. Melissa [Gr.
..... Click the link for more information. .
a genus of perennial grasses of the family Labiatae. The small flowers have a two-lipped calyx and grow primarily in verticillate inflorescences located in the axils of the upper leaves. The fruit consists of four nutlike lobes. There are five species, growing in Eurasia. Of the two species found in the USSR, the lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has economic importance. It is strongly branched and measures 45-125 cm in height; its flowers are pale yellow, white, or pink. The lemon balm grows in the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Middle Asia, in forests, thickets, and weed patches and along forest edges. It is cultivated (in the USSR, primarily in the Ukraine) because it yields essential oils, nectar, and spice. Melissa frequently grows wild. The leaves and tips of the stems contain a lemon-scented essential oil, consisting of citral, myrcene, and geraniol. The oil is used as a flavoring and in the production of perfume, liqueur and vodka, and pharmaceuticals.
T. V. EGOROVA