Plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed in a location that will receive full sun to partial shade. Space plants 9-12″ apart in average soil that is well-drained. Plant height 6″. Does well in containers, mixed pots or hanging baskets.
Lippia, Aztec sweet herb lippia dulcis
Lippia dulcis, also known as Aztec sweet herb, is a ground cover herb native to Mexico and Central America. The dark green, egg-shaped leaves may turn brown-purple in bright sun and have a dark crimson stem. Aztec sweet herb is most often grown today as an ornamental, although due to its extraordinary sweetness, some use it in small quantities as a home sweetener for herbal tea.
Unlike Stevia, also a sweet herb, Lippia dulcis leaves also contain camphor which has a bitter taste and is toxic in large doses to the nervous system especially in children and small animals. Traditionally, Aztec sweet herb has been used medicinally to treat bronchitis and indigestion.
*Warning: Lippia leaves contain camphene which can be toxic for small children by inducing vomiting and nausea. In extreme cases, it may lead to depression and cause coma. This herb is not safe for pregnant and lactating mothers. In large enough doses, camphor can trigger early childbirth or abortion.
While not as invasive as mints, it does root quite easily from wherever the stem touches the soil.
Harvest (please see above warning) fresh leaves sparingly for use in limited quantities to flavor herbal teas. For those not pregnant or nursing you might try this tea recipe: 10 leaves of Aztec sweet herb and 10 leaves of peppermint. Add 2 cups of simmering water, steep and enjoy! Equally tasty hot, cold or at room temperature.