Stems slender or rather stout, pubescent or nearly smooth, 2 to 4 feet high from a perennial root, simple or sparingly branched above. Leaves thin, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, usually pubescent, at least beneath, sharp pointed at the apex, rounded or narrowed at the base, sharply toothed on the margins, 2 to 6 inches long, 1 to 3 inches wide, the petioles one-half to 1 inch long or the upper ones shorter. Flowers in terminal, solitary clusters at the ends of the branches or stems, subtended by several red or partially red bracts. Calyx tubular, narrow, fifteen-nerved with five small, awnlike teeth, smooth without, hairy within. Corolla scarlet, 11/2 to 2 inches long, the limb two-lipped, the upper lip erect, the lower lip spreading and three-lobed, the middle lobe the largest. Stamens four, but only two of them anther-bearing and projecting out of the flower, the other two stamens rudimentary.

In moist soil, especially along streams, Quebec to Michigan, south to Georgia and Tennessee. Flowering in July and August.

Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum

Plate 189

Oswego Tea; American Bee Balm   Monarda didyma

Oswego Tea; American Bee Balm - Monarda didyma