Balsam Poplar Bee Balm
Monarda didyma L. (Labiateae)

Common Names
Oswego bee balm, American bee balm, bee balm, bergamot, horsemint, Indianís plume, low balm, mountain balm, mountain mint, Oswego tea, red balm, rose balm, scarlet balm.

Description
Stems sharply four-angled, to about 4 feet in height, aromatic, simple branches to 6 inches long; leaves ovate to lance-like, toothed, rounded at base, petioled, hairy, serrate, 5 to 6 inches long; bright crimson flowers to 2 inches long in large terminal clusters at top of plant; perennial.

Flowering Period
July to September.

Habitat
Rich woods, thickets, bottomlands, and stream banks.

Harvest
Herb when flowering.

Uses
This herb is described as being a rubefacient, stimulant and carminative. The U.S. Dispensatory lists it as being anthelmintic. This plant is a commercial source of the drug Thymol, which is of value as an antiseptic and flavor.

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