Depending on climate Sweet almond is a deciduous to evergreen shrub that may reach 15 feet tall. It is primarily a warm weather, multi-stemmed shrub that is tolerant of poor soils and drought conditions and an ideal candidate for xeriscaping. It has a somewhat coarse texture comprised of medium green, lance-shaped leaves that are as rough as sand paper. But it is the bloom that is its greatest asset, or more particularly, the fragrance of the bloom. The 4 to 8 inch long racemes of tiny, white flowers are attractive but not impressive. They do, however, emit an intoxicating perfume that is both powerful and alluring. This scent has been described as spiced vanilla, but it seems even more exotic than that. It is simply one of  those fragrances that must be experienced to be appreciated. And that is Sweet Almond’s foremost asset, and it is so extraordinary that it raises it to the top of the “must-have list” of plants for the fragrance garden. And once the bloom begins it never stops, though that statement is more true in warm weather area such as the southern half of the US. And finally, there is possibly no greater bee magnet than Sweet Almond and the honey produced is unsurpassed.

Sweet Almond, which is also known as Sweet Almond Verbena or Aloysia virgata, is well-suited to either the humid southeast or the arid southwest of the United States and it is perfect for Australia. In colder regions, such as the upper US and the UK, it can be grown as a die-back shrub or gown in pots. It is well-suited to dry, poor soils and full sunlight and is tolerant of both acid and alkaline soils; sand, gravel or clay.

This is a rare shrub, hardly ever encountered, that fills numerous niches. It is beneficial to wildlife, a natural screen and good for xeriscaping but, most of all, it has unforgettable fragrance.

Sweet almond


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