(I am putting my Today's Flowers entry up early. I will add to the link when it is open.)
Also known as Eastern Beabalm, Bergamot, Wild Oswego Tea, Horsemint and Monarda, and can be seen in red, pink or lilac. It is a perennial herb native to Eastern North America and grows in dry thickets, clearings and woodland edges from Ontario and British Columbia, to Georgia and Mexico. Native of the Oswego, New York area, found in thickets, fields, on stream banks and cultivated in herb gardens. It is easily grown in ordinary garden soil. It also grows well in heavy clay soils, requires a part shade to sunny place to grow.
Bee Balm is edible and medicinal, the entire plant above ground is edible and used as a pot herb. It is also used as a flavoring in cooked foods (as long as no pesticides are used of course). The flowers makes an attractive edible garnish in salads. It is also noted for its fragrance and is a source of oil of thyme. The fresh dried leaves are brewed into a refreshing, aromatic and medicinal tea. An infusion of young Bea Balm leaves is used to form a common beverage in many parts of the United States.
Bea Balm leaves and flowers and stems are used in alternative medicine as an antiseptic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stimulant to name a few, and also used in the treatment of colds, sore throats and headaches.
The red variety is commonly known as Oswego Tea and was used by colonists in place of English Tea after the Boston Tea Party, when they threw the English tea in the harbor in protest of the high taxes imposed on it by the British Crown.