Bee balm, or Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
 
 
Monarda fistulosa, commonly known as Bee-balm or Wild Bergamot belongs to the Mint family (Lamiaceae).  The plant has a fragrant, minty odor with branching square stems up to 5 feet tall, with the upper stems usually finely hairy.  Leaves are opposite, and flowers are in dense, rounded heads at the tops of the stems, with each head surrounded by a whorl of pale, leafy bracts.


Bee-balm blooms late spring to early fall and is common throughout  the tallgrass region in prairie thickets, pastures, old fields, and upland woods.  Bergamot tea has been used for various medicinal purposes and is still used for herbal teas.

 

Additional information about this plant may be found at the USDA PLANTS Database:

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MOFI