Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Aztec Sweet Herb
Lippia dulcis

Family: Verbenaceae (ver-be-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lippia (LIP-pee-uh) (Info)
Species: dulcis (DUL-sis) (Info)

Synonym:Phyla dulcis
Synonym:Phyla scaberrima

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

under 6 in. (15 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By nancyanne
Thumbnail #1 of Lippia dulcis by nancyanne

By nancyanne
Thumbnail #2 of Lippia dulcis by nancyanne

By mgarr
Thumbnail #3 of Lippia dulcis by mgarr


3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Memaw1 On Oct 16, 2009, Memaw1 from Marion, TX wrote:

My two Aztec plants thrived during the record breaking heat and drought we found ourselves in here in the Texas Central Plains this summer. They were planted in the spring and well established before the heat wave. They did receive late afternoon shade. I watched in amazement as they doubled, tripled and quadrupled in space spreading out in all directions as bushes and trees in the same area dried up and died. My favorite combination has become ten sprigs of Aztec plus ten sprigs of peppermint, pull off the leaves, add 8 cups of boiling water, steep and enjoy! A delightful healthy beverage hot or cold or room temp.

Positive madrid2000 On Jun 24, 2008, madrid2000 from Humble, TX wrote:

I fell in love with this plant’s sweet smell and taste the first time I saw it. I looked for years for it until I saw it again in a coworker’s herb bouquet. The first plant she gave me was wrapped in a wet paper towel and was dead by the end of the day. The second plant had its roots in a cup of water and survived. I first had it growing outside in shade and it didn’t grow much. It started spreading when I gave it about 5-7 hours of sunlight. It seems to spread over ground by runners that put down roots. Once established, it has survived mostly on rain water. It has also over wintered some brief freezes for me outside with a pile of pine straw on top.

Positive nancyanne On May 29, 2005, nancyanne from Lafayette, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is touted as a sugar replacement, and much sweeter than Stevia - it is, indeed, extremely sweet. However, the leaves have a resinous flavor that might preclude its use as a sugar substitute in mildly flavored dishes. I think it would do well in herbal teas, as an additional sweetness and flavoring. The flavor of the plant is definitely too strong to stand alone as a sweetener in baked goods and such.
Still, it is a very attractive ground cover, tough, drought resistant, and cold tolerant. In full sun, the foliage is bronzy-colored. Spicy scent.
The flowers are unusual, beginning as small (1/4") daisy-looking; new petals form continuously on the end of the old, until the flower looks like a long cylinder with white petals on the end. Odd and interesting.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ceres, California
Vista, California
Lafayette, Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas
Humble, Texas

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