Sarah Browning: Monarda is equally flowery and flavorful | House & Yard

Monarda is a genus that has a very long background of becoming utilized as a medicinal herb. As the widespread identify Bee Balm indicates, it has also been utilized to soothe bee stings.

But did you know the Oswego tribe utilized this plant to make an organic tea, and they taught the early American settlers how to do so as nicely? This just occurred to come in quite helpful subsequent the Boston Tea Celebration. As the settlers revolted against the British tax on tea, they drank tea produced from Monarda rather, as a result thumbing their noses at the British and their taxes.

Monarda is a member of the mint loved ones and consists of numerous species, most of which are hardy perennials and all of which are indigenous to specific areas of North America. Summertime flowering on all these species is rather appealing to humans and pollinators.

Monarda species

Monarda punctata, aka Horsemint or Dotted Mint, is rather of an unruly native prairie plant characterized by tall unbranched stems topped with rounded clusters of pink or lavender tubular bouquets. The stacked mixture of speckled bouquets and colorful bracts make this unique and strange.

Monarda fistulosa, or wild Bergamot, is a person of the species usually used for medicinal uses. Currently being hugely aromatic with showy lavender-pink flowers, it is also applied as a honey plant.


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Monarda didyma, Scarlet Bee Balm, has lengthy been cherished for not only its use for tea but also its ornamental value. The vibrant scarlet/red flowers of M. didyma are however a section of numerous ongoing breeding programs with Monarda.