Lamiaceae: an aromatic perennial to 30–50cm of height, growing from a short rhizome. Found in shady deciduous woods, often with oak, beech, and chestnut. It can also be found among pines and junipers. The inflorescence is composed of two or more flower. The flowers are labiate, arranged in pairs and are one-sided. They are usually white or pale pink with a large pinkish purple blotch on the lower lip. Blooming from May - August. The strongly aromatic leaves reach 5–9cm of length. They are oval, bluntly-toothed, quite hairy. They have a short petiole and are in opposite pairs up the stems. Native to central and southern Europe from the British Isles, Portugal east to Turkey, Ukraine, and the Baltic States.
A coumarin scented (like new-mown hay) herb, it is occasionally used for making a 'Maiwein' or 'Maibowle' type of beverage.
Melittis melissophyllum has astringent, blood purifier, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative, and vulnerary properties.
Seeds are best sown in a cold frame in the autumn for germination in the spring. GA3 hormone gibberellic acid will help germination. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Succeeds in any good soil in partial shade and a rich loam. Grows well in thickets, woodland edges and the garden border. Plants are hardy to about -20°C. The flowers have a pleasing sweet honey-like scent and are pollinated by bees and moths.
Attracts bees and moths.