Monarda - Bee Balm
Monarda, also known as Bee Balm, wild oregano or bergamot, is a genus of flowering plants rooted in the mint family. Commonly called Oswego Tea, Horsemint or bergamot, monarda is historically known to be used by Native American tribes and early colonists to make teas, tinctures and healing salves. Monarda is still commonly used in this fashion by medicinal herbalists today. Additionally, monarda has risen in popularity as a garden flower due to being simply irresistible to hummingbirds, bees and butterflies in addition to its interesting shape and profound beauty. The scent is reminiscent of the bergamot orange, although this is not the bergamot used in Earl Grey tea. The flower is edible and used in high brow culinary settings as a garnish and in salads for robust flavor notes. Native to North America, monarda thrives in zones 3 to 9 as a perennial staple. The racemes - tall, slender stalks- are filled with whorled flowers in lavender, pink, purple, white, salmon, crimson and ed options. It is best planted in well drained fertile soil and prefers full sun.