Monarda Fistulosa is a perennial wildflower that comes from the same family of plants as excellent-ice-cream-flavour-when-paired-with-choc-chip, mint. It’s leaves are long (5-8cm), lance-shaped and toothed but atop them sit little clusters of between 20 and 50 beautiful little flowers.
You possibly know monarda fistulosa by its more common name, wild bergamot. Its a storied plant when it comes to medicinal uses, used particularly widely by many Native Americans, including the Menominee, Ojibwa and Winnebago tribes. Its antiseptic qualities meant it was sometimes used to treat skin infections and minor wounds and the thymol that it produces naturally is still used in modern mouthwashes today. Bergamot was most commonly used to treat the common cold however, made into a tea and sweetened with honey…
…Which brings us to our favourite name for this particular FOTW: the bee balm. You see, slightly dubious medicinal qualities aside, there’s no disputing the monarda fistulosa’s excellence as a honey plant. It’s sweet sweet nectar is irresistible to bees, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you know how important that is for our environment right now.
Click and hold image to download as a phone background:
Or download the wallpapers here.