I had very much wanted that plant ever since I read about it in Apperceive's post (or was it Hanaabi?). But you know, one must be polite on the forum and I hesitated to ask for my heart's desire. It's one thing to advertise that one needs seeds of one sort or another and leave people the choice to offer their seeds, or simply just to be silent. It's another when the whole world knows that Apperceive and Hanaabi are the only ones who actually have the Monstrous Lemon Balm to give away. One can't very well ask only to put them in a spot in case they haven't enough to give!
So, I put up a request for lemon balm seeds instead. I hoped merely to grow the normal lemon balms that die after a while in my garden despite all the care I give to them. But well... I guess I'm still not used to the generosity of GCS forummers. Without thinking twice, Apperceive and Hanaabi offered to give me one of their mother's monstrous specimens instead. So now, I am in proud possession of the Monstrous Lemon Balm. It looks like a cross between the Indian Borage and the Lemon Balm. Where the Indian Borage smells like the bottom of my husband's golf bag, this one has the citrus fragrance of the Lemon Balm. Where the Lemon Balm's citrus scent is gently subtle, this one's fragrance envelopes my head and fills the nose with its sweet tart flavour. Actually, it smells the way a French Lemon Tart tastes. Where the Lemon Balm's leaves are like thin pieces of crepe paper, this one has soft and cushiony leaves that little elves and fairies could comfortably sleep on at night. And whilst the Lemon Balm has small prim leaves, this one's leaves are unabashedly large and joyfully expansive - like the well-meaning country woman with big hips, big bosom, big heart and loud voice. And just like women of such ilk, this plant is robust in health and very resilient. It is so easy to grow!!
The differences are so stark between what I know to be Lemon Balm and this Monstrous Lemon Balm that I rather suspect that it isn't Lemon Balm at all. I don't know what it is. Maybe it is a cross between Indian Borage and Lemon Balm? But who cares, I ventured to make of it a delicious tea and I am still very much alive. When a plant is edible, fragrant and easy to grow, what more can you ask for?