Friday, July 15, 2011

Bee Balm for TODAY'S FLOWERS

(I am putting my Today's Flowers entry up early. I will add to the link when it is open.)

Bee Balm
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.



49 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Lovely shots of the Bee Balm, Denise! It is a great plant to have in your yard because the hummingbirds love it.

jabblog said...

Bee Balm is a truly versatile plant and very pretty, too.

KaHolly said...

Wonderful post!!! Such great information. It is one of my favorite flowers, but one I haven't been successful in growing up here on the island. Guess the environment is just too harsh right on the water. I'll just have to enjoy the beauty of yours. Your pictures are beautiful!! ~karen

Janet said...

A very pretty plant- though I always seem to lose them after one of our winters here

Sharon said...

Very unusual plant, it looks more like art than just a flower!

Valerie said...

Bee Balm is a new one to me. What a fabulous colour, no wonder the hummingbirds are attracted to it.

Beyond My Garden said...

It is native in our nearby mountains, but I have transplanted some into my garden. Not much came up this year. Yours is beautiful.
nellie

Kathy said...

I'll bet the hummingbirds love these plants.

imac said...

Flaming good shots my friend.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

These are lovely and color blooms, Denise. Years ago, we had bee balm in our front yard, but for some reason it died and never came back. It certainly is a useful plant. Have you ever tried it in a salad?

Cloudia said...

What a workmanlike post!

Suggestion: Rename the post after the flower; then folks searching for info on it will be directed to this excellent informative post!


Aloha from Waikiki;


Comfort Spiral

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Out on the prairie said...

I saw some tall white this last week at a greenhouse. The red is one i want to add next year.In Birds and Blooms magazine they have a chipmunk picture that made me think of you.

ksdoolittle said...

I just read your comment on Biblio....by the Sea and the series of books you mentioned look good. I'm going to see if my library has any of them. I prefer audio, so I can work while I'm read to. Thanks. ~karen

Mildred said...

Wonderful shots and very interesting plant!
Thanks for sharing. And thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment;o)

¤ Have a nice and happy weekend ¤

Michelle Fayard said...

What beautiful images! My husband and I enjoy working in our herb garden, so this post really resonated with me. Wishing you a great weekend!

Michelle

Carletta said...

Eileen says the hummingbirds love it so I'll look into planting some.
I love your second shot! Nice DOF with the other blurred plants.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Caroline said...

I recently attended a lecture on medieval medicine it seems it was popular even in those times.
Caroline

Kay said...

This is very beautiful and also very interesting! Terrific photos, Denise.

i beati said...

and oh so pretty. Do you have a greyhound?I have 4 italian greyhounds.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I love bee balm such an easy flower to grow.

Gill

Susan said...

Brilliant... and something I'd never seen or heard of before.
Such a pretty plant as well and I just love the name "Bee Balm" :D)

Richard said...

Id like to invite everyone to read a blog post today of a woman who joined the old order Mennonite church from the outside. I'm extremely lucky in publishing her very first, and most likely last post on Amish Stories. A lot of work was involved in her getting permission to be even able to write anything on the internet, and permission was given by her bishop. So please stop by and read about a woman who gave-up her car and other worldly possessions for the person that she loved. Richard from Amish Stories

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Very nice post, Denise. I love the color of the Bee Balm. I had read that it was medicinal --but I had forgotten. Thanks for the great info.
Hugs,
Betsy

Cezar and Léia said...

This red flower Bee Balm is adorable, I didn't know the real name, thanks for sharing!I'm always learning with blog friends!
Léia

Modern Mom said...

First time I've seen this. Bee Balms are beautiful. Happy Sunday!

My entry.

Margaret Cloud said...

These are very beautiful pictures. It sure is a rowdy looking flower. I like it. Have a great weekend.

*Honest Abe said...

Bee Balm by any other name would still be prized by a lot of bees. I have some this color and some a pale violet or purple. Both seem to attract bees.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

WE have this plant in the garden and while it can be a bit unruly it attracts hummingbirds like crazy. They are at it every day all day.

Carver said...

I've always loved bee balm and these are great shots of it.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I'd never heard of it Denise but it is very pretty and obviously useful too. A x

deborah said...

Beautiful photos of your bee balm. I have the Marshalls Delight in mine.

Luna Miranda said...

very pretty and useful, too. i don't think we have it here. gorgeous photos.

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

The bee balm is a very pretty flower. Thank you for providing such an informative post about the flower.

Andrew said...

Beautiful images...

Mirage said...

Such lovely color!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots of the flower. Never seen it before.

Míriam Luiza said...

Temos erva cidreira por aqui. Suas fotos estão muito bonitas e seu texto é informativo. Obrigada por compartilhar. Obrigada por me seguir. Seguindo-te também.Traduzindo pelo google tradutor:

We Balm here. Your photos are beautiful and the text is informative. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for following me. Following you também.Traduzindo by google translator.

Autumn Belle said...

The flowers are very special. Thank you for the info and lovely display. Bergamot in aromatheraphy smell like lemongrass. Love your bee balm header!

Pat said...

This was a very interesting and informative post for me. I hadn't seen or heard of beabalm before, nor of its medicinal properties. Thanks for sharing, Denise!

Roan said...

I've never seen the red variety, we have the lilac color around here. I'm partial to the red. I enjoyed reading your post as well as admiring your photos.

Mary said...

Very pretty color! These really attract butterflies, too.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What a great plant. I love the deep color of the blossom.

Janie said...

I've never seen or heard of this plant, but I love its bright color.

chubskulit said...

I find bee balms very beautiful;!

eden said...

Pretty blooms. I love Bee Balm. Great photos.

Maria Berg said...

Bee Balm - tea plant. Last year I had a pink in my garden but i think the strong winter took it - they are so fun and lovly to look at.

/MB

NatureFootstep said...

lovely color on this flower. I totally understand you chose it for a header pic. :)

lina@women's perspectives said...

Unique and lovely :)

Inday said...

Such a multiplicity of medicinal uses apart from its culinary usefulness, this plant will certainly thrive in my kind of garden soil which is clayish. I can't wait finding one like that here. I'll remember the name. (It's Flower Memes for me Denise. I did not realize I got plenty of flowers in my storage but I always forget). ^_^