Stem. - Square, erect, about two feet high. Leaves. - Opposite, ovate, pointed, aromatic; those near the flowers tinged with red. Flowers. - Bright red, clustered in a close round head. Calyx. - Reddish, five-toothed. Corolla. - Elongated, tubular, two-lipped. Stamens. - Two, elongated, protruding. Pistil. - One, with a two-lobed style, protruding.

We have so few red flowers that when one flashes suddenly upon us it gives us a pleasant thrill of wonder and surprise. Then red flowers know so well how to enhance their beauty by seeking an appropriate setting. They select the rich green backgrounds only found in moist, shady places, and are peculiarly charming when associated with a lonely marsh or a mountain brook. The bee balm especially haunts these cool nooks, and its rounded flower-clusters touch with warmth the shadows of the damp woods of midsummer. The Indians named the flower O-gee-chee - flaming flower, and are said to have made a tea-like decoction from the blossoms.

Oswego Tea   M. didyma

Plate LXXXII. Oswego Tea - M. didyma

Single flower

Single flower