Beebalm (Bradbury Beebalm)

Monarda bradburiana (sometimes called M. russeliana)
Lamiaceae (mints)

A clump-forming perennial with square, unbranched stems. All parts of the plant have a pleasant aroma. Flowers normally in 1 terminal cluster, subtended by many small leaves that frequently are rose-purple. Floral tubes to 1½ inches long, ending in 2 lips, the lower broad and recurving, the upper arching upward with stamens protruding. Flower color can be white with purple spots, pale lavender, or pinkish. Blooms April–June. Leaves minutely hairy, inconspicuously toothed, lanceolate, opposite, nearly sessile, each pair at right angles to the nearest set.

Similar species: Wild bergamot, or horsemint (M. fistulosa) is quite similar, but its leaves each have a definite stem.

Height: to about 2 feet.
Habitat and conservation: 
Occurs in dry, open woods and edges of glades, usually on acid soil. Also found in gardens and in landscaping.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Ozarks and northeastern counties; cultivated statewide.
Human connections: 
The showy blossoms and fragrant flowers and leaves make this a favorite native plant for gardening. Some people cultivate it in order to make a tea out of the foliage. Others enjoy the butterflies and hummingbirds it attracts. Still others appreciate its tolerance for rather poor, dry soils.
Ecosystem connections: 
The flowers of this plant attract many butterflies and other insects, which gather nectar and pollinate the flowers in the process.
Shortened URL