Taxon: Melissa officinalis L.

Genus: Melissa
Family: Lamiaceae (alt.Labiatae)
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Mentheae
Nomen number: 24036
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:592. 1753
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 11-May-1992 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 31-Dec-2001
Species priority site is:
Accessions: 2 in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Food additives: flavoring (fide L Edible Pl; F USSR)
  • Bee plants: honey production (fide F USSR)
  • Environmental: ornamental (fide Dict Gard)
  • Materials: essential oils (used in perfumery fide F USSR; F ChinaEng)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)

Distributional Range:


  • Africa

    • Macaronesia: Portugal Madeira Islands; Spain Canary Islands
    • Northern Africa: Morocco ; Tunisia
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Caucasus: Armenia ; Azerbaijan ; Georgia ; Russian Federation-Ciscaucasia Ciscaucasia
    • Middle Asia: Kyrgyzstan ; Tajikistan ; Turkmenistan
    • Western Asia: Cyprus ; Iran ; Iraq ; Israel ; Lebanon ; Syria ; Turkey
  • Asia-Tropical

    • Indian Subcontinent: Pakistan
  • Europe

    • Eastern Europe: Belarus ; Russian Federation-European part European part; Ukraine
    • Southeastern Europe: Albania ; Bulgaria ; Former Yugoslavia ; Greece ; Italy ; Romania
    • Southwestern Europe: France Corsica; Portugal ; Spain

  • Cultivated


  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Davis, P. H., ed. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. (F Turk)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Greuter, W. et al., eds. Med-Checklist. (L Medit)
  • Hanelt, P., ed. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6. 2001 (Mansf Ency)
  • Huxley, A., ed. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. 1992 (Dict Gard)
  • Izquierdo Z., I. et al., eds. Lista de especies silvestres de Canarias: hongos, plantas y animales terrestres. 2004 (L Canarias)
  • Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. Flora SSSR. (F USSR)
  • Kunkel, G. Plants for human consumption. 1984 (L Edible Pl)
  • Lawrence, B. M. 1992. Chemical components of Labiatae oils and their exploitation (Adv Lab Sci) 400.
  • Lazarides, M. & B. Hince CSIRO Handbook of Economic Plants of Australia. 1993 (Econ Pl Aust)
  • Leung, A. Y. & S. Foster Encyclopedia of common natural ingredients used in food, drugs, and cosmetics, ed. 2. 1996 (Ency CNatIn)
  • Magness, J. R. et al. Food and feed crops of the United States. IR Bull. 1. 1971 (Crops US)
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Mouterde, P. Nouvelle flore du Liban et de la Syrie. (F Liban)
  • Mun-Chan, B. et al. 1986. A checklist of the Korean cultivated plants (Kulturpflanze) 34:110.
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. Flora of [West] Pakistan. (F Pak)
  • Personal Care Products Council International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI)
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Soukup, J. Vocabulario de los nombres vulgares de la flora peruana. (Voc Nombr Vulg)
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. Flora europaea. (F Eur)
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. Flora of China (English edition). (F ChinaEng)
  • Zohary, M. & N. Feinbrun-Dothan Flora palaestina. (F Palest)

Check other web resources for Melissa officinalis L. :


  • Flower: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image
  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image