(Monarda didyma)

Description: Perennial. 2-3'. Plant has downy leaves and long, narrow, tubular blossoms in tiered whorls with wide, curving sharply-lobed lips in shades of red through purple.

Culture: Plant from clump divisions or from seed, or buy plants. Place in sunny area or fringe of shade in early spring. Can grow in damp area. Spreads freely. Perfect for bee gardens.

Preservation: Harvest in flower or leaves any time. Hang dry flowers, air dry leaves.

  • Culinary: Boil leaves for tea
  • Medicinal: Oil applied to head as a counter-irritant. Dried leaves in tea considered good for nausea and soothing to nerves. Good for sore throats.
  • Repellent: A sprig tucked under a garden hat disperses mosquitoes and gnats.
  • Fragrance: Nice in a potpourri. Oil used in pomades; the French use it in perfume.

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