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 rose campion
August 04, 2007 - My friend shared a plant with me and I cannot identify it. She said that it was Rose Campriow? or something like this. It has very small pink/purplish blooms with grey green foliage. It is a perenn...
view the full question and answer

Existence of plant named
May 30, 2006 - My mother's middle name is Orabelle - "beautiful seacoast." Some variations are "Orabel" and "Ord." Is there a plant that is so named and where might I be able to purchase it? I live in Norf...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
June 23, 2011 - I live in Alaska and have TEENY cute 5 petaled white flowers growing on my lawn. They are very short, maybe 2 inches in height. The flower is about 1/2 inch wide. They look like a perfect tiny daisy. ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small dome-shaped furry plant, smells like bubblegum
November 21, 2013 - Hi, I always see this plant when I'm on the river trail in Redding CA. and I can't find it anywhere on the internet. The plant is very small, I think it is some type of weeds that grow. It's a ligh...
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny tree with lemon-like fruit
October 14, 2010 - What would be a small lemon like fruit that grows on a bush with large thorns? The fruit is about the size of a golf ball, kind of fuzzy yellow skin like a lemon and smells like a cross between an or...
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