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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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