Origin: Chile
Family: Verbenaceae

Verbena is a shrub with deciduous leaves, about one metre in height, though it can reach up to four metres in hot countries. The long, thin pointy leaves are an attractive light green, very soft and always appear at the stem in groups of three. The tiny mauve or pink flowers, depending on the variety, form clusters or stalks at the end of the stems.

It was the Spanish who first brought this lemony plant to Europe where its scented leaves soon came to be used in soap and perfume-making.

Chef’s tips

  • Its lemony flavor provides a fresh note to many recipes. The leaves make a good substitute for lemon grass or lemon juice in numerous preparations.
  • Used as an infusion, it can flavor a sauce to accompany fish or poultry.
  • Its fresh leaves can be used to enliven ice creams, fruit salads and vanilla custards.


Verbena Sorbet
Jacques et Laurent Pourcel, Le Jardin des Sens, France
Verbena-Flavored Crème Caramel
Alain Labrie, La table du chef, Sherbrooke, Québec
Crispy Raspberry Sticks with Verbena, Hibiscus Sorbet
Michel Portos, Hauterive Saint-James, France, Michel Portos
Pineapple Chips and
Philippe Le bail, chef pâtissier, Hôtel Belvédère, Corse

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