Comprehensive Description

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Spotted Bee Balm is also called Spotted Horsemint. This species has rather unusual-looking flowers and attractive bracts. It is easily distinguished from most Monarda spp. (Bee Balms) in Illinois by its multiple whorls of flowers on the same stem, cream-colored and purple-spotted corollas, narrow leaves, and pink to lavender bracts. The only similar species that can be found in the state, Monarda citriodora (Lemon Bee Balm; sometimes referred to as Monarda pectinata), is native to the Great Plains and rarely escapes from cultivation. This is an annual species with white to pink corollas that lack spots. The calyx teeth of Lemon Bee Balm are longer and more pointed than those of Spotted Bee Balm, which has simple triangular teeth. Different varieties of Spotted Bee Balm have been described, but they are quite similar to each other, differing primarily by the kind of pubescence to be found on the central stem.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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