Botanical name: Backhousia Citriadora
Common Name: Lemon-Scented Myrtle
Height: 3m – 6m
Width: 2m – 4m
Light: Full sun or Part shade
Growth rate: Medium
Soil: Can tolerate most soils, but prefers rich fertile, and well-draining soils
Flowers: Striking White Aromatic Flowers
Origin: Subtropical Rainforests of Southern and Central Queensland
Backhousia Citriadora is a beautiful native Australian tree, which after a rainfall, induces a pleasant lemon scent fragrance.
The leaves when crushed have a citric taste and can be used in cooking, or my personal favourite – the perfect addition to Gin in as a refreshing summer drink. Many use lemon myrtle for creating cakes, biscuits and sorbets!
Image reference: https://ppnn.org.au/plantlist/backhousia-citriodora/
As a tree, the lemon-scented myrtle provides excellent shade and comfort, also can be used for screening and hedging. Lemon-scented myrtle lets off a pleasant lemon scent after it has rained, and citric taste when leaves are crushed which can be used in cooking, perfect in spring or summer.
It grows well in rainforests throughout Queensland, commonly found from Mackay to Brisbane. It grows naturally in the QLD climate where there is less than 800mm rain.
This tree can grow up to 6m tall but is unlikely in the average Australian backyard.
If your lemon myrtle is in a small backyard or is used for privacy or screening, it may be pruned to encourage denser growth. Although it thrives in the warmer weather, it can also grow well in the cooler Melbourne climate if it is protected from frost and receives some sunlight.
Lemon-scented myrtle is a little more delicate than it may first appear. It must be protected from the wind as the branches may easily snap off at the base. Try to create a natural windbreak if you can, or alternatively have a plan for storms.
Lemon-scented myrtle grows best in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. Ensure the soil isn’t alkaline or you will risk yellowing of the leaves.
This flexible tree also attracts desirable birds and insects like bees, adding to the pleasant feeling and atmosphere on your property, while helping the environment and other native species.
Image reference: https://www.pinterest.com.au/myrtlek/lemon-myrtle/
Lemon-scented myrtle not only looks great all year round but is used for several health benefits. The plant’s leaves can be harvested for their aromatic essential oils and citrus sweet flavour and are known by Indigenous Australians as the “healing plant”. It is rich in antioxidants and is used for anti-bacterial products due to its anti-inflammatory benefits. Lemon-scented myrtle has been known to ease medical symptoms such as digestive issues, headaches, allergies, sinus problems, cold and flu-like symptoms and mental health.
With its elegant branches of foliage, fragrance, and taste, along with its many uses such as health and environmental benefits, positioning for screening, hedging and creating shade spaces. It is a fantastic tree to have and will suit any backyard or commercial property.
If you would like to arrange a free consultation with our expert Landscapers to help you decide if lemon-scented myrtle will flourish at your property, please contact us today.