Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rose-scented Bee Balm

Rose-scented bee balm in our garden. (Monarda didyma 'rose-scented'). Bee balm is also known as bergamot. But, it shouldn't be confused with the bergamot flavor in Earl Grey tea. That bergamot is an orange, not an herb. Although, the native bergamot was also known as Oswego Tea. Apparently, the Oswego Indians showed colonists how to brew this into a beverage and it got very popular after the Boston Tea Party.

But, this variety of bee balm is a bit different than others. The fragrance of its flowers and foliage smell like rose-scented geranium and it is heavenly! Bees and hummingbirds and butterflies all love it. And so do I! Delightful as a cup of tea, for use in potpourri, or just to gaze upon.

In fact, on days like today, which are clear and sunny, just standing next to this plant and gazing upon its beauty provides a balm for me. I can totally understand why bees are lulled by this plant. Perhaps I am part bee? Buzzz.

1 comment:

Cara Phillipo said...

Beautiful Plant. Thanks for clarifying the two types of Bergamot.
I will plant this one in my garden in the Spring!