Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cedronella canariensis, Balm of Gilead

Cedronella canariensis
 Balm of Gilead

I have grown this small shrub on and off for years and am in love with the warm aromatic resinous smell of the crushed leaves. Being native to the Canary Islands it is not that easy to keep going in a warm humid climate like mine. It is a garden escape in California and can be seen at the San Fransisco Botanic Gardens but is otherwise not well known in cultivation other than with herb enthusiasts.This is the first time I have seen the dusty pink flowers which are held erect above the foliage. I propagate it by taking cuttings during winter and when potted on in spring they make rapid growth. The foliage is excellent for cutting and drying and retains the aroma of camphor, pine and wood smoke..... rather like a good after-shave.
2017 update: I currently don't have any plants of it.

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