Monardia didyma - Also known as Oswego Tea or Scarlet Monardia


Botanical Terms


Master Plant List

Flowering Times List

Flowers by Color/Type

Endangered Species List

Habitat List

Use the 'back' button on your browser to return, if necessary.

Photograph taken near the Fish Hatchery In Pisgah NF in late June '99.

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 in it.

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 NC Natural site.

Herbal information can be found at The Modern Herbal.

Alternative Nature has another picture of the white bee balm.

Wiseacre Gardens has yet another picture of the white/lavender Wild Bergamont.

Myst Herb and Tea has some suggestions for making teas for this mint.