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For other uses, see Balm of Gilead (disambiguation).
Cedronella canariensis
Cedronella canariensis 2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Cedronella
Species: C. canariensis
Binomial name
Cedronella canariensis
(L.) Webb & Berthel.
  • Brittonastrum triphyllum (Moench) Lyons
  • Cedronella madrensis M.E.Jones
  • Cedronella triphylla Moench
  • Dracocephalum balsamicum Salisb. nom. illeg.
  • Dracocephalum canariense L.
  • Dracocephalum ternatifolium Stokes

Cedronella is a genus of flowering plants in the Mentheae tribe of family Lamiaceae, comprising a single species, Cedronella canariensis, native to the Canary Islands, the Azores, and Madeira. It is also naturalized in various places (South Africa, St. Helena, New Zealand, California).[2] Common names include Canary Islands-balm,[3] Canary balm, and Balm-of-Gilead.[4]

It is a perennial herbaceous plant growing to 1-1.5 m tall. The distinctive feature of these plants is the compound leaves consisting of 3 leaflets, unusual in the Lamiaceae, which usually have simple leaves. The leafy stems terminate in dense, short spikes of flowers with tubular 2-lipped white or pink flowers.

The genus name is a diminutive of Cedrus, though the only connection between this herb and the large conifers of Cedrus is a vaguely similar resinous scent of the foliage.


Grown outdoors in mild climates, these perennials need protection in a sunny position in the herb garden and moist, well-drained soil. In cool climates they can be grown in a sunny conservatory. Water freely in the growing season. Propagate from seed or from cuttings.


  1. ^ "The Plant List". 
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ USDA GRIN entry for Cedronella canariensis
  4. ^ Bailey, L.H.; Bailey, E.Z.; the staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium (1976). Hortus third: A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. New York: Macmillan. 

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