Sunday, July 6, 2008

Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline': flower

Monarda didyma, known in English as bee balm, bergamot, Oswego tea, or firecracker plant, and in French as monarde, thé d'Oswego, bergamote, or mélisse d'or is a perennial in the mint family native to much of eastern North America, and also the northwestern United States. Its flowers are very unusual and hard to describe—some say they look like jester's hats or fireworks; and are a lovely red. They are said to attract hummingbirds, though I haven't witnessed that myself.

The plant photographed originally came from the local Valumart, and was grown by President's Choice. PC called it a "really easy perennial" (or something like that) and it certainly was; I just planted it and it grew rapidly and was covered with long-lasting blooms.

The leaves smell like Earl Grey tea.

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