Cultivating History

Scientific Name: Monarda punctata L.

Family: Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Common name: Horse Mint (also known as spotted bee balm)

Description: Aromatic, native perennial herb with 4-angled stems 16-40 inches tall; flowers in tight clusters subtended by several wholly or partially pink to lavender bracts; corolla yellow, spotted with purple; flowers July-September.

Range and Habitat: In South Carolina common in the sandhills and coastal plain in sandy, dry, open woodlands, and fields; occasional in the piedmont growing in sandy or rocky woodlands.

In Porcher’s time… horsemint was used to treat flatulence and promote menstruation; an infusion of the leaves was very efficient in allaying nausea and vomiting in bilious fevers.

See the historical entry on this plant as it appears in Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests

See the contemporary entry on this plant as it appears in the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database