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near the Fish Hatchery In Pisgah NF in late June
Mint Family (Lamiaceae)
At the summit of this mints square stem
is a dense (usually more than the picture at left)
cluster of bright red tubular flowers. The leaves
are 3-6" and coarsely toothed. 3-5 foot tall.
June to August
Moist woods and thickets. Especially
prevalent within 20 feet of a stream.
This showy fellow is an escapee from New
England. It makes its home down this way where
hummingbirds and other long-tongued insects revel
The 'Oswego Tea' name comes from the fact that
the Oswego Indians of the NE region used the leaves
to make a tea and re-taught that to the white
settlers who originally brought it. It reportedly
has usefulness in curing colic, gas, colds, fevers,
stomachaches, nosebleeds, insomnia, heart trouble,
measles and to induce sweating. A poultice was made
to cure headaches. Early physicians used the leaf
to expel worms and gas.
The steaming of leaves was reported to be useful
in clearing sinuses.
It is often used to attract hummingbirds and
butterflies in country gardens.
I also found what
seemed like a white variety of this plant and is
one of theWild Bergamonts probably White Bergamont
( Monarda clinopodia), and is one of the other
3,500 species of Mints. If so, it would favor
drier, open places.
My observations about this plant can be found at:
More information about Bee Balm and the Bergamonts
(sounds like a 60's rock group), is at
Herbal information can be found at
Nature has another picture of the white bee balm.
Wiseacre Gardens has yet another picture of the
white/lavender Wild Bergamont.
Herb and Tea has some suggestions for making teas for