Backhousia citriodora is commonly known as the Lemon Myrtle. This Australian native tree has an amazing citrus fragrance when the leaves are crushed due to citral contained in the leaves. It originates from central to south-eastern Queensland in the sub-tropical rainforests.

Being quite hardy, it is equally at home in other southern states, if given protection when young from frosts. It tolerates most soils as long as they are well drained. Being a slow grower, the addition of slow release organic fertiliser will help promote growth. It can grow to a height of 20 meters in it natural habitat however it is often smaller in gardens. It can also be grown in a large pot.

The most common use of the Lemon Myrtle is for cooking. It can be used to infuse fish & other meats, flavouring in vegetable dishes, drank as a tea or to flavour desserts.

One of the most popular desserts are Lemon Myrtle Biscuits.

Nanna’s Lemon Myrtle Biscuits

Makes: 24
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Challenge: easy

200g margarine (I prefer to use butter)
100g sugar
100g macadamia nuts (almonds can be used)
225g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon lemon myrtle

Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add nuts, lemon myrtle, baking powder and flour.
Form little balls (teaspoon sized) and press them flat with a fork.
Bake at 200° C until light brown, approximately 12 minutes.

Recipe from