This native wildflower is very easy to grow and a delight in the garden. The lance shaped mid green leaves have a distinctive citrus or lemony scent when the leaves are rubbed or crushed. Several stems grow from a compact clump and between the leaves whorled flower heads of fragrant lavender, lilac to pink flowers arise from June to August to a height of 3 feet. It is beloved by butterflies, humming birds and bees and the bright colored flowers can be seen from across the garden. It makes an excellent cut flower.
Usually listed as an annual it can survive in warmer climates and produce large colonies. Most often it dies at first frost but can regrow the following spring if seed falls on bare soil. Mostly it is considered as an annual and should be treated as such. It is easy to grow, it prefers full sun but can grow in light shade. It prefers a light soil with sand or humus and does require some moisture. It is an excellent plant for a wildflower garden as it blooms when many others do not. It can be subject to powdery mildew.
The young leaves are edible and can be cooked and used to flavour foods or raw in salads. A pleasant lemon flavoured tea can also be made.