Cedronella canariensis Balm of Gilead


Cedronella canariensis Balm of Gilead


True Balm of Gilead is a camphourus smelling resin, sometimes referred to as Balsam of Gilead, from the tree Commiphora gileadensis. This tree is thought to be the source of balm referred to in the Bible.

"And they sat down to eat bread; and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites came from Gilead, with their camels bearing spicery and balm and ladanum, going to carry it down to Egypt." Genesis 37:25

"Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt; in vain dost thou use many medicines; there is no cure for thee." Jeremiah 46:11

"Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? Jeremiah 8:22

Our delightfully fragrant garden plant, Cedronella canariensis, is called Balm of Gilead because of its clean scent that is similar to Commiphora gileadensis. The genus Cedronella has only one species in it, canariensis. Cedronella refers to its cedar like scent and canariensis referes to its origin, the Canary Islands. Since it comes from a very warm climate, it is best grown in a container so that it can be protected during the winter. Fortunately, the deep green leaves with their interesting shape make a good companion plant for a mixed container.

Leaves can be used fresh or dried for tea. Dried they contribute a woodsy fragrance for potpourri.


Cultural Information

Height: 2 Feet

Hardiness: Perennial
in Zones 9

Flower Color: Pink

Characteristics: Full Sun/Part Shade

Uses: Fragrant Ornamental, Culinary

We are not currently propagating this plant. This page has been left here for informational purposes.

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