Backhousia citriodora (Lemon Myrtle) also known as ‘lemon-scented myrtle’ ‘Lemon Myrtle’ or ‘lemon ironwood’ is a tree or large shrub belonging to the Myrtaceae family. It is naturally found in the subtropical and tropical rainforests of coastal Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. It grows to between 3 and 8m in height with light to dark green strongly aromatic lemon- scented leaves. Flowering is prolific in summer with the tree covered in clusters of tiny cream coloured flowers. This, however only occurs in areas where the temperature drops below 12oC.
The species is used as an ornamental by rainforest nurseries however since the beginning of the last century it has been used more for its essential oil content. The plant is best maintained as a hedge and this not only simplifies harvesting but allows for a higher yield.
About Lemon Myrtle