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Lavender creekside blossom -- Monarda Fistulosa is its name
By Sharon Whitehurst
Scrolling past Linda's photo on Monday I said to myself, "Monarda fist-----?" My eastern wildflower book wasn't readily noticeable in the tipple on my desk, so I put the ID of the plant in the mental file labeled 'later.'
As serendipity would have it, my attention was caught today by a bushy wild plant in bloom above the retaining wall where Mose Miller used to hitch buggy horses when visitors arrived.
Although obviously a variant of monarda/bee balm this wasn't Linda's flower. The photo which Linda posted fits the description and photos online as Monarda Fistulosa.
My white-flowered plant seems to be Monarda Clinipodia. The identifying feature of this one is the tiny dark red dots at the base of the petals -- more readily noted in my photo than when I was leaning over the wall with my camera.
The terms 'bee balm,' 'wild bergamot,' 'monarda' are used inter-changeably by most of us. The leaves of all plants in this group have a 'minty' scent--some more than others. If you enjoy Early Grey tea, you may recognize the 'bergamot' taste and smell.
Thank serendipity for bringing this out of the "mental file marked 'later'", a file with which my own mind is truly familiar, and thank you, Sharon! It's wonderful to know more details about the family of this little July creekside blossom. -- LW
This story was posted on 2017-07-19 10:53:51
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