Aloysia citrodora Paláu

First published in Parte Práct. Bot. 1: 768 (1784)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is S. Bolivia to NW. Argentina. It is a shrub and grows primarily in the subtropical biome. It is used as a medicine, has environmental uses and for food.


Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

Cultivada en Colombia; Alt. 250 - 2800 m.; Andes, Llanura del Caribe, Orinoquia, Valle del Cauca.
Morphology General Habit
Hierba, arbusto

Biogeografic region: Andean, Caribbean, Orinoquia. Elevation range: 250–2800 m a.s.l. Cultivated in Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Meta, Putumayo, Santander, Valle del Cauca.
Herb, Shrub.
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, artificial - terrestrial.

The Useful Plants of Boyacá project

Alt. 250 - 2800 m.
Cultivated in Colombia.
Morphology General Habit
Not Evaluated.

Wood, J.R.I. 2009. Aloysia axillaris (Verbenaceae), a new species, with notes on the genus in Bolivia. Kew Bulletin 64: 513. DOI:

Unnumbered illustration by B. Salvador y Caruna in Palau (1784), lectotype selected by Armada & Barra (1992: 89).
Morphology General Habit
Aromatic shrub smelling strongly of lemon
Morphology Leaves
Leaves in whorls of 3, occasionally in opposite pairs, entire (rarely, outside Bolivia, serrate), lanceolate, 3.5 – 7.5 × 1 – 1.5 cm. Glabrous or nearly so
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence of 1 – several spike-like racemes from each leaf-like bract, each up to 6 cm in length, thus often forming a compound, lax inflorescence.
Apparently native in northern Argentina (Salta, Jujuy, La Rioja and Catamarca) and southern Bolivia (Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Potosi and Tarija), where it is a local, but sometimes abundant component of arid bushland in the dry inter-Andean valleys between 2300 – 3250 m. Also widely cultivated in Bolivia and throughout tropical and subtropical America for use as a herbal tea and in traditional medicine.
A serrate-leaved form from Argentina was described by Moldenke (1964: 170) as a “distinctive species” under the name Aloysiasleumeri. Botta (1979: 102) reduced this to synonomy with A. citrodora after finding entire and serrate-leaved plants growing together in the same area. Serrate-leaved plants have never been collected in Bolivia. Synonym: Aloysia triphylla (L’Hér.) Britton (1925: 140). Synonym: Lippia triphylla (L’Hér.) Kuntze (1898: 253). Synonym: Verbena triphyllaL’Hér. (1786: 21). Type: C. L. L’Héritier de Brutelles.n. (P, n.v.), a cultivated plant grown from seed sent by Commerson from Montevideo, lectotype selected by Moldenke & Moldenke (1983: 232). The epithet citrodora is as spelt by the original author rather than the more common, erroneous and less logical citriodora. Synonym: Lippia citriodora (Palau) Kunth (1818: 269).

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia.

alegría, cedrón, cidrón, luisa, luisa de Chile, yerbaluisa

Cedrón, Cidrón, Lemon verbena, Saca ojo, Yerba luisa, Zorrillo


Use Environmental
Environmental uses.
Use Food
Used for food.
Use Materials
Used as material.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.

Use Medicines Digestive System Disorders
Stems - Used in liquid medicines (Lagos-López 2007). Leaves - Used in liquid medicines (Lagos-López 2007).
Use Medicines Mental Disorders
Stems and leaves - Used in liquid medicines as a sedative (Lagos-López 2007).
Use Medicines Nutritional Disorders
Leaves - Used as a tonic (Alarcón 2011).
Use Medicines Unspecified Medicinal Disorders
Medicinal (State of the World's Plants 2016).

Common Names



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  • Kew Bulletin

    • Kew Bulletin
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

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  • Kew Science Photographs

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  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

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  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

  • Useful Plants of Boyacá Project

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