Common Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Posted by on Jul 20, 2012 in Blog | 1 comment

Oswega Tea or Common Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Pendleton County, West Virginia, USA

Oswega Tea or Common Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

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Common Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Common Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) or Oswega Tea, as it is also known, is a member of the Lamiaceae or Mint family.  It is a perennial that grows from 2- to 5-feet tall.  The leaves are thin, ovate to lance shaped, from 3- to 6-inches in length.  The flower heads grow at the end of a short stalk with the floral bracts usually red-tinted.  The scarlet to crimson flowers, from 1.2- to 1.8-inches long, are two lipped and non-fragrant.  The stamens are longer than the upper corolla lip.  It is found in moist wood and thickets mainly in the northeast US.  It flowers from July to September.  The leaves were used by the Oswego Indians of New York to brew tea, and early settlers learned to do the same giving the plant one of its names.

Oswega Tea or Common Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Pendleton County, West Virginia, USA

Oswega Tea or Common Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

One Comment

  1. Nice job Mark!
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