A small genus, 3 species across Europe and Asia, with M. officinalis native to the UK. Grown for their aromatic leaves. Flowers are in whorls up the stem, during summer, rather small, but very valuable for insects, bees in particular. In Greek melissa or melitta means 'honeybee' and Melitta sp. bees are found across the UK.

All are a valuable source of nectar and pollen to a range of pollinators, especially honeybees, over an extended summer season, and larval foodplants for the small, very attractive, mint moth. M. officinalis has now become widely naturalized outside of gardens, especially in England.

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