The Lemon Myrtle is a wonderful evergreen native tree that belongs in your garden for its amazing citrus scent. Although it naturally grows in coastal rainforest areas in Queensland and New South Wales, it has adapted well to cooler climates as long as it isn’t subject to frost when young. In its native habitat it can grow to over 20 metres (66 feet) but in cultivation it would normally only grow to 5-8 metres (16-26 feet).
You can enjoy the leaves for their wonderful lemony flavour used to flavour seafood, chicken or vinaigrettes. Add to boiling water and allow to infuse for a refreshing herbal tea. In summer through to autumn the clusters of white flowers with fluffy stamens are a favourite nectar source for butterflies, birds, beetles and bees.
The seeds are contained in a nut-like capsule and are retained until the whole fruit falls from the tree. According to the Australian National Botanic Gardens the best form of propagation is from tip cuttings in March. As the Lemon Myrtle is a rainforest tree some shade in hotter areas is best. The soil should be rich with humus, moist and well mulched.
A light tip pruning after 1 to 2 years will keep it bushy.