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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - June 19, 2007

From: ABILENE, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Medicinal qualities of Monarda clinopodioides
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Monarda clinopodioides Gray basil beebalm Could you tell me if the above-mentioned plant is edible or has any medicinal use?

ANSWER:

Monarda clinopodioides (basil beebalm) is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family. While Native American cultures developed medicinal uses for many plants, I could find no direct reference to such uses for this particular cultivar. Since it is a mint, it doesn't seem likely that ingesting it would do any harm, and I found no references in that direction, either. Probably it should just be valued for its appearance, a native Texas plant blooming May to July, and the benefits of being a nectar source for butterflies and hummingbirds. For further information, visit this site on the Lady Bird Johnson Native Plants website.

 

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Basil beebalm
Monarda clinopodioides

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