Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One of My Favorite Herbal Flowers

As I was wandering in my garden the other day, I came upon one of my favorite herbal flowers, bee balm Monarda didyma. It is also known as bergamot and oswego tea. It is a native American herb. It is a hardy perennial that grows to about 3 feet tall. It likes full sun, but it can take partial shade. It comes in several different colors, pink, purple, magenta, red and white. I have red in great numbers because it is a favorite of the hummingbirds. When the kids trick or treat at my house, their parents want to know what the lovely smell is and it is usually the bee balm. It has very fragrant leaves that you can use in tea, fruit salads or potpourri. Its roots are rhizomes and are very easily divided and moved when you want it in several different places in your garden. It can be cut back once it blooms and it may rebloom. It can get powdery mildew. The bee balm in the picture is 'Jacob Kline' not as prone to mildew. Enjoy these last days of summer!

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