En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Identification of a white beebalm

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

Desert or littleleaf sumac (Rhus microphylla) on Texas State Capitol grounds
May 07, 2007 - I am trying to find out what kinds of plants are planted on the Texas State Capitol Grounds. There is a bush that grows around the Capitol Extension windows area and I don't know what they are. The...
view the full question and answer

Looking for the identification of spice or cinnamon bush
May 30, 2011 - My grandmother had a flowering bush that had little yellow flowers on it and smelled like cinnamon to me. She called it a spice bush. Could you help me name that bush?
view the full question and answer

Flat leaf cedar, Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae)
May 23, 2007 - Hello, I am looking for the scientific name for what is commonly called flat leaf cedar. It has defined platelets, wonderful cedar smell, older trees have shaggy bark, in winter some of its sprays tu...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 16, 2011 - I have a photo of a shrubby plant with large spines. Is there a way for me to attach it? I'm having trouble identifying it. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Tree with bright green seeds the size of a softball
October 22, 2008 - My daughter has moved to Taylorsville,Ga and thier are trees that drop bright green seed pods that are round and the size of a soft ball. The outer skin resembles a human brain. Do you have any idea w...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center