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Batch CLXXIV. Schwarzwald, Saturday June 24, 2017 NO. 47
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Scarlet Monarda

Monarda Dydima

Monarda didyma (crimson beebalm, scarlet beebalm, scarlet monarda) is an aromatic herb in the family Lamiaceae, native to eastern North America from Maine west to Ohio and south to northern Georgia. Its odor is considered similar to that of the bergamot orange (the source of bergamot oil used to flavor Earl Grey tea). The scientific name comes from Nicolas Monardes, who described the first American flora in 1569. This hardy perennial plant grows to 0.7-1.5 m in height, with the stems square in cross-section. The leaves are opposite on the square stems, 6–15 cm long and 3–8 cm broad, and dark green with reddish leaf veins and a coarsely-toothed margin; they are glabrous or sparsely pubescent above, with spreading hairs below. It has ragged, bright red tubular flowers 3–4 cm long, borne on showy heads of about 30 together, with reddish bracts. It grows in dense clusters along stream banks, thickets and ditches, flowering from mid- to late summer. Beebalm has a long history of use as a medicinal plant by many Native Americans, including the Blackfeet. Whereas the Blackfeet Indians recognized this plant for ist strong antiseptic action we have chosen this secret weapon because of ist bergamot flavor.

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