Melissa officinalis, also known as lemon balm, is from the mint family Lamiaceae, native to south-central Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean region, and Central Asia. It grows to 70–150 cm tall. The leaves have a gentle lemon scent, related to mint. During summer, small white flowers full of nectar appear.
The white flowers attract bees, hence the genus name Melissa (Greek for 'honey bee'). Lemon balm is often used as a flavouring in ice cream and herbal teas, both hot and iced, often in combination with other herbs such as spearmint. It is also frequently paired with fruit dishes or candies. It can be used in fish dishes and is the key ingredient in lemon balm pesto.