Monarda fistulosa var. menthifolia (Graham) Fern.
Family: Lamiaceae
wild bergamot
[Monarda fistulosa subsp. menthifolia ,  more]
Monarda fistulosa var. menthifolia image
Max Licher  
PLANT: Plants usually 30 80 cm tall; stem simple, less often branched, pubescent with short downward curled (rarely spreading) hairs. LEAVES ovate-lanceolate to ovate, firm, pale green, 30 90 mm long, 10 38 mm wide, subsessile to short petioled, with short appressed canescent hairs. INFLORESCENCE: bracts frequently pink tinted. FLOWERS: calyx 7 10( 12) mm long, the orifice densely hirsute; corolla lavender to rose (rarely white). n = ca. 18 NOTES: See also parent taxon. Ponderosa pine, oak woodland, riparian forest, mixed conifer forest: Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Maricopa, Navajo, Pima, Santa Cruz, Yavapai cos.; 900 2450 m (3000 8000 ft); Jun Aug; British Columbia e to Ontario, Can. s to AZ, NM, TX, and Coah., Mex. REFERENCES: Henry, April M. 2003. Lamiaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 35(2).
Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973, Christy et al. 2003
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Perennial, simple branching herbs, erect from the base, 30-120 cm tall, stems sometimes red-tinged, aromatic. Leaves: Opposite, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 1-3 cm wide, pubescent above, glabrous below, or pubescent or glabrous on both sides, coarsely serrate, borne on petioles usually 2-5 mm long or less, (rarely more). Flowers: Purple, borne in crowded terminal glomerules only, inflorescences subtended by an involucre of foliaceous bracts, these linear, oblong, or ovate, sometimes reflexed and pink-tinged, the calyx 5.5-11.5 mm long, the orifice hirsute, the corollas funnel-shaped 25-35 mm long, the upper lip helmet-shaped, arched, or straight, stamens included or somewhat exserted. Fruits: Smooth, oblong nutlets. Ecology: Found in pine forests from 5,000-8,000 ft (1524-2438 m); flowering June-September. Distribution: Ranges across Arizona and New Mexico to Texas, south to Coahuila, Mexico and north to Canada. Notes: This species is distinctive among the Monarda because of its single terminal head. The keys to this variety are the flowers borne in terminal heads only, the petioles 5 mm long or less, lanceolate leaves, and purple corollas. The large, purple flower heads are very attractive to bees and butterflies, making this a good candidate for gardens and landscaping. Ethnobotany: An infusion of the plant was used to treat cough, kidney trouble, female troubles, flu, colds, heart trouble, trouble sleeping, as a cathartic, stomach troubles such as flatulence or colic, and taken as an emetic, and the infusion was applied to the eyes as a wash, a poultice of the plant was applied to cuts, boils, and sores, and for headaches, the root was chewed for swollen neck glands. The plant was also used as food, and the leaves were powdered and sprinkled on meat as a preservative, for seasoning, and also to make a beverage. The leaves were chewed during singing and dancing., and the plant was used as a rub or soaked in oil for use as a perfume. Etymology: Monarda is named after Nicholas Bautista Monardes (1493-1588), a Spanish physician and botanist , while fistulosa means hollow or tubular, usually referring to the stalks, citriodora means lemon-scented, and austromontana means of the southern mountains. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher, 2011