Monarda punctata L. - Spotted Bee Balm

Monarda punctata plant

Family - Lamiaceae

Stems - No info yet.

Monarda punctata stem

Leaves - No info yet.

Inflorescence - No info yet.

Monarda punctata inflorescence

Flowers - No info yet.

Monarda punctata flower

Flowering - June - October.

Habitat - Prairies, sandy, open ground.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species can be found in just a handful of scattered Missouri counties. The plant can be identified by its habitat, strong mint scent, square stems, thin, opposite leaves, pinkish inflorescence bracts, and yellow flowers.
Natives used a tea made from the leaves for colds, fevers, stomach ailments, and coughs. Traditionally, doctors used the plant as a stimulant and as a diuretic.
Oils from this plant are high in the secondary compound thymol. At one time, thymol was obtained from commercially grown thyme. During World War 1, thyme fields were destroyed in Europe so M. punctata was grown in the U.S. as a substitute for thyme. Thymol is now manufactured synthetically.

Photographs taken at Fort Benning, GA., 9-12-05.


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