Backhousia citriodora

Scientific name: Backhousia citriodora

Common name: Lemon Ironwood, Lemon Scented Myrtle

Family: Myrtaceae

Backhousia - after James Backhouse, 19th century English nurseryman and Quaker missionary; citriodora - Latin, meaning citrus perfumed.


 Backhousia citriodora  


Growing in beds 20a, 31, 65i, 53,43 and 103.

Click here for map of garden beds & grid.


Backhousia is an endemic genus of 7 species from rainforests of eastern Australia.

Backhousia citriodora grows 3-20 metres tall x 2-8 metres wide. It is evergreen with hairy young shoots and grows in Rainforests between Brisbane and Mackay.

Leaves are 5-12 cm long x 2.5-5cm, ovate to lanceolate, dark green, reddish when young with slightly toothed margins, strongly lemon scented.

Flowers are creamy white, 0.5-0.7 cm across, numerous, in umbel-like clusters near the ends of the branches produced between December and April.

Calyx persistent surrounding a 2-celled fruit. The lemon scent comes from oil of citral in the leaves.

Grows best in semi-shade in deep, moist, well drained soil. Supplementary watering in dry weather is beneficial. Responds to fertiliser applications.

Propagate from seed or cuttings which could be slow to form roots.

The scent of Backhousia citriodora is a well used Bushfoods fragrance but should be used sparingly.