Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) (European) is a very common mint, introduced from Europe, the aromatic foliage of which has a very peculiar attraction for all members of the feline race. It apparently has an intoxicating effect upon them; after eating the leaves they will roll about on them for a long time. It also formerly was used for making Catnip tea, a one-time remedy for most of the ills of childhood. The plant has a stout, square hollow stem from 2 to 3 feet tall and is downy, as are the sage green, toothed leaves. The lilac-white flowers are clustered on peduncles from the axils of the leaves. Catnip is common throughout our range. .
A. Motherwort. Leonurus cardiaca. B. Hedge Nettle. Stachys 'palustris.
Motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca) (European) is a simple, erect-stemmed mint growing from 2 to 4 feet high. It has a very decorative effect, the* leaves being large at the base of the stem and rapidly diminishing as they approach the top; the lower ones are quite long-stemmed and all are palmately slashed. The flowers grow in round clusters surounding the stem at the axils of the leaves.
The numerous flowers composing these clusters have tiny, two-lipped, white, pink or purple corollas and minute stamens. Both the stem and the leaves have a woolly texture and the former are strongly veined. Motherwort is commonly found about old country dwellings and along roadsides. We find it in bloom from June until August. It is a much more leafy species than most of the mints; the pairs of leaves are closely crowded together and extend in all directions from the stem.
Wild Mint (Mentha Arvensis Canadensis) , a common species, is one of our few native mints. It has a simple stem from 1 to 2 feet high and toothed, petioled lance-shaped leaves. The tiny white or lilac-white flowers are clustered around the stem in the axils of the opposite leaves. Both the stem and the leaves are more or less hairy and have an aromatic odor resembling pennyroyal. Wild Mint is common throughout the United States and southern Canada.
Hedge Nettle; Wound-Wort (Stachyspalustris) Is A Tall Mint (1 To 3 Feet) with a downy-bristly stem and purple, tubular, two-lipped flowers in a terminal spike and from the axils of the upper leaves; lower lip streaked and spotted. Common in moist ground from N. S. to Manitoba and southwards.
Peppermint (Mentha Piperita) (European) has ovate-pointed, finely toothed leaves, usually with pairs of leaflets from the axils and little purplish flowers in small terminal spikes.
Oswego Tea; Bee Balm. Monarda didyma.
Oswego Tea; Bee Balm (Monarda Didyma) is one of our most brilliantly colored wild flowers and shares with the Cardinal Flower the honor of being the most intensely scarlet colored. It grows along the shady borders of woodland streams or pools where its vivid coloring is in strong contrast with the deep greens of the surrounding vegetation. The stem is hairy and rather rough; it attains heights of two feet or more. The short-stemmed, broad-lance-shaped leaves are light green, sharply toothed and rather thin, the stem and the smaller leaves, just below the flower heads, are often tinged with ruddy.
The flowers grow in rounded terminal heads, composed of numerous, long tubular, scarlet florets. The upper lip is long, arched, pointed and often notched at the tip; the lower lip is three-parted, the middle one being longer than the side ones.
Nectar, seated at the base of the long tube, can only be reached by long-tongued insects. Best adapted to it are bumble bees and certain of the butterflies. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, too, attracted to this, his favorite color, often partakes of the sweets. Two Stamens with prominent anthers and a pistil with a two-parted stigma, are so situated in the throat of the flower that it is impossible for either bee or butterfly to reach the honey-cup without pol-lenizing the stigma, usually with some brought from another blossom. From July until September this beautiful species blooms in suitable localities from Quebec to Manitoba and southwards to Ga, and Mo.
Wild Bergamot (Monarda Fistulosa) is a quite similar species with a smooth stem and paler flowers, either pink or magenta-pink in color. The upper leaves are stained with the shade of purpie or lilac that characterizes the flower bracts. We find this species in dry ground in the same range.