Bee Balm Blooming Bright Red

The bright red blooms of Bee Balm, Monarda didyma, also known as Oswego Tea, can be seen from a distance. The red color is truly a bright red – it surely attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Bee Balm or Oswego Tea in bloom.

Bee balm or Oswego tea in bloom.

Several tubular flowers open on bee balm.

Several irregularly-shaped, tubular flowers open at a time.

Maroon bracts just below the bee balm flowers.

The bracts just below the rounded head of flowers are also red, but more on the maroon side of red.

A friend found a few plants growing near the Juniata River and gave us a couple for our native plant gardens. To match it’s native habitat I’ll be transplanting ours along the lane near the spring that runs after a good rain.

Once they’re established I’d like to harvest the leaves to try the tea. Does anyone here use bee balm as oswego tea?

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