En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - October 03, 2009

From: Williamston, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of a white beebalm
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a photo of what looks like Bee Balm but it is white in color. What is the name of this wildflower?

ANSWER:

There are several plants with the common name of beebalm and all of them are in the genus Monarda.  Another common name for beebalm is bergamot.  You can see from the distribution maps on the USDA Plants Database that there are six species of Monarda that can be found in South Carolina (assuming that this was where your photo was taken).  The most likely candidate for the flower of your photo is Monarda clinopodia (white bergamot).  Its blossoms can be either white or pink.  You can see more photos and a distribution map from USDA Plants Database and still more photos from North Carolina Native Plant Society.

The other beebalms or bergamots that occur in South Carolina are:

Monarda media (purple bergamot)

Monarda fistulosa (beebalm or wild bergamot)

Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm)

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)

Monarda punctata (spotted beebalm)

If you think your photo isn't Mondarda clinopodia (white bergamot), it might be possible that you have an albino mutant of one of the other beebalms or bergamots that occur in South Carolina or it is another flower that isn't one of the Monarda species but looks similar.  If you would like for us to verify the identity of your flower, please send the photo(s) to us and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos.

Here are photos of both the white version and the pink version of Monarda clinopodia:


Monarda clinopodia

Monarda clinopodia

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of orange flowering tree in West Virginia
May 21, 2008 - I was wondering if you might have any suggestions as to what small tree-like plant I saw over the last two weeks (mid May) in West Virginia, in the woods, in the mountains. With honeysuckle-like leav...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine with purple flowers
July 06, 2011 - I'm trying to identify a vine-like plant growing in my yard to determine if it is a weed or should be kept around. It has small purple flowers with a small yellow center, looking like a mini honeysuc...
view the full question and answer

Indentification of yellow four-petaled plant in Sonoma County CA
March 09, 2015 - Yellow four-petaled plant - low to the ground. Along the coast of CA in Sonoma County (near Bodega Bay) Might be Frying Pan but I can't find a decent description or the botanical name to look it up...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Hesperaloe parviflora
August 02, 2005 - On the home page of this website (right of center) there is a plant with the long stems and pink flowers and with green pods or seeds, also. Could you please tell me the name of this flower? We have ...
view the full question and answer

Dfferences between Argemone arizonica and other Argemones
October 27, 2005 - I am trying to find information about the differences between the Argemone arizonica which grows only in the Grand Canyon and the other Argemones which grow in the rest of the U.S. Do you have any...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center