Jul 09 2009

Summer’s Here: Bee Balm

Published by at 7:35 am under Phenology,Plants

Bee Balm (photo by Chuck Tague)

It's a red flower with a Bad Hair Day.  It's a favorite in gardens, it's a favorite with hummingbirds and it blooms in July.

It's Monarda didyma, otherwise known as Bee Balm.

Native Americans used it as an antiseptic and made it into tea, hence its other name: Oswego tea.

See the shape of the nectar tubes?  Chuck Tague says they fit a hummingbird's face like a glove.

Click the photo above for a more distant look, so you can identify them from afar.

(Cover photo by Chuck Tague. Click-through photo by Dianne Machesney.)

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