Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Monarda citriodora

Lemon beebalm, Purple horsemint, Lemon mint, Plains horsemint, Lemon horsemint, Horsemint, Purple lemon mint

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Monarda citriodora (Lemon beebalm)
Marcus, Joseph A.
Known by a number of common names, lemon beebalm is a 1-2 ft., aromatic winter annual with unusual, tuft-like, lavender to pink, whorled flower heads. Each whorl in the elongated spike is subtended by whitish or lavender, leaf-like bracts. Several stems grow from the base and are lined with pairs of lance-shaped leaves.

Horsemint has a distinctive citrus or lemony scent when the leaves are rubbed or crushed. It is very easy to grow and often forms large colonies. Bees and butterflies are attacted to this plant.

Linnaeus named the genus Monarda in honor of a 16th century Spanish physician and botanist, Nicolas Bautista Monardes (1493-1588). Monardes never went to the Americas but was able to study medicinal plants in Spain because Spain controlled navigation and commerce from the New World.

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91 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 1-2
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: If watered, horsemint will continue flowering through the end of summer and even into September and early October.


USA: AL , AZ , AR , FL , GA , IL , KS , KY , LA , MS , MO , NE , NM , OK , SC , TN , TX , UT
Native Distribution: E. KY, MO & KS, s. to AR, TX, NM & Mex.; introduced eastward
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Hillsides, Slopes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy loam to rocky soils. Clay Loam, Medium Loam, Sandy Loam, Sandy, Clay
Conditions Comments: Bees and butterflies are especially attracted to this pretty plant. It often occurs in large masses. Lemon mint is very easy to grow and often forms large colonies. It can become aggressive if given optimum growing conditions. It is susceptible to powdery mildew.


Use Ornamental: Wildflower meadow, Long-blooming, Shortgrass meadow, Easily grown, Blooms ornamental, Aromatic
Use Wildlife: Bees and butterflies are attacted to this plant. Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-Bees, Nectar-insects
Use Food: Leaves used raw or cooked for flavoring in salads, cooked foods, and for tea.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds , Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Last Update: 2013-11-09