Monarda punctata L. - Dotted Horse Mint

Monarda punctata plant

Family - Lamiaceae

Stems:

Monarda punctata stem

Leaves:

N/A

Inflorescence:

Monarda punctata inflorescence

Flowers:

Monarda punctata flower

Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Sandhills, sandy or rocky woods, flatwoods, dry disturbed sites.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This striking species can be found in the southern half of Alabama. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its minty scent, square stems, thin leaves, and punctate yellow flowers. The pink bracts of the inflorescence are often mistaken for flowers at a distance. This species is widely cultivated, as it should be.
The species epithet punctata derives from the Latin "punctat" meaning "marked with pricks or punctures" referring to the dotted flowers.
The genus name Monarda is given in honor of Nicolas B. Monardes (1493-1588). Monardes was a Spanish doctor of medicine and botanist. He studied plants of the West Indies and wrote many papers on the effects of medicinal plants. His work Two Books...about the Drugs from the West Indies used in Medicine (1565) was reprinted many times and translated into a host of languages. Monardes also founded a botanical garden in his home-town of Seville, Spain.

Alabama Distribution:

Monarda punctata map

Photographs taken at Fort Benning, GA., 9-12-05.


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