This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
A small genus of erect herbs with simple toothed leaves and showy flowers in close heads of whorls surrounded with bracts. Calyx tubular, elongated, nearly equally 5-toothed. Corolla long and slender, deeply bilabiate; lips narrow, nearly equal and slightly toothed. Stamens 2, ascending, the spreading anther-cells confluent at the junction. The species are all from North America. Dedicated to Monardez, a Spanish botanist.
1. M. didyma (fig. 199). Oswego Tea or Bee Balm. - A slightly hairy perennial about 2 feet high with showy scarlet or bright red flowers and bracts. This flowers in Summer, and is by far the showiest in cultivation. The detached corolla in the cut is about one-quarter of the natural size.
M. fistulosa, Wild Bergamot, has narrower leaves and smaller purple, pink or white flowers.
Prunella grandiflora is very near our native Self-heal, P. vulgaris, but the flowers are much larger. There are purple, violet, and white varieties. This genus is distinguished by its dense bracteate spikes or heads of flowers, in which the upper lip of the corolla is large and concave, nearly equalling the four stamens.
Fig. 199. Monarda didyma. (1/8 nat. size.)