Purple Monarda - Purple Horsemint
Monarda citriodora
Lamiaceae (Mint) Family

 

Plant is an upright, smooth to hairy perennial. Preferred habitat is rocky woods and sandy areas. Distribution is occasional in the Escambia region.

The leaves are opposite on the stem; consisting of one whole part; stalked; egg-shaped to lance-like; forms an angle to the left with sides less than equal. Leaf margins are toothed and leaf base may be rounded or wedge-shaped.

Flowers are in terminal heads subtended by numerous pink to lavender, leafy bracts. Heads are spaced on the stem at intervals. The calyx is symmetrical in shape; corolla is yellow to rose spotted with purple; two stamens extend beyond the corolla. Flowers occur in the spring and summer.

Fruit is an oval-shaped capsule with two or more seed chambers.

Monarda is generally grouped as one as these attractive western grassland species increase on disturbed ranges that are overgrazed, as well as the Plains Bee Balm. The showy plants are seldom used in cultivation although their aromatic leaves can be used to make a tea for treating respiratory ailments.

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