basal bee-balm (Monarda clinopodia)
Monarda allophylla Michx.
Monarda fistulosa L. var. clinopodia (L.) Cooper
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Pending confirmation.
TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name of basal bee-balm
is Monarda clinopodia L.
NATIVE STATUS: Native, United States.
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Habit: Basal bee-balm is a herbaceous perennial plant that can reach 100
cm in height (39inches).
Leaves: The leaf arrangement is opposite; leaves can reach 13cm in length (5inches). Each leaf is toothed, ovate to lanceolate in shape, green with
hairs along the edges and has a rounded base. Petioles are generally 1 to 3
cm (0.4-.75") long. Both foliage and stems are thinly hairy, and stems and
leaf veins often are a purplish green.
Flowers: In early summer, long, tiered flower spikes appear at the stem
tips. They are lined with whorls of small, two-lipped, flowers that may
be white, lavender-pink or pale pink. The flowers are irregular in shape.
Blooms first appear in mid summer and continue into early fall. The
flowers are in a compact rounded head, usually single and terminal but sometimes with another head stacked above the first on the same stem.
The lower lip of the flower is usually marked with purple spots (this may
be a sign of hybridization). Bracts white or marked with white.
Fruit/Seeds: Nutlets, 1.2 - 1.3 mm long, ellipsoid to obovoid, yellowish
Roots: Insufficient information.
REGENERATION PROCESS: Basil bee-balm propogates itself
HABITAT TYPES: Basil bee-balm can be found in wood habitats,
mostly in mountains.
SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Basil bee-balm prefers full sun to light
shade and average, fertile garden soil. Heavier, moist soil is best. If in a
rich, moist soil, this species spreads indefinitely.
SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: Basil bee-balm blooms from July
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Basil bee-balm is primarily a species
of the eastern United States north or Florida. It does not extend into
the upper New England region and is not reported as occurring in
Canada. It generally extends west through the Ohio Valley, but does
not go much farther west than the Mississippi River.
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION: To be determined.
IMPORTANCE AND USES: Bees and butterflies cover the plants when
in bloom, and hummingbirds have also been known to visit them. Leaves
of the plant can be dried and used to make tea.
Crooked Run Valley