Friday, July 19, 2013

Monarda ~ Friday's Flower

Monarda is more commonly known as Bee Balm, Bergamont, or Horsemint.  Wikapedia states the genus was named for Nicolas Monardes, who wrote a book in 1574 describing plants found in the New World. 
Apparently there are both annual and perennial, upright growing plants.  I have the most common variety, a pink blooming perennial, which grows between 3-4' tall, somewhere between mid and late summer.  In the wild,
you can find flowers ranging in color from crimson-red to red, pink and light purple hues.
I've read that Bee Balm was used by the Native Americans as a seasoning for wild game.  They must have enjoyed the hints of peppermint, spearmint and oregano, but it can be bitter tasting.  This plant prefers full sun, which is perfect for Colorado, and is a sure attractant for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.  I like to think of them as little garden sparklers.  

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