You are here

Lemon Mint

Lemon mint or Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora
(Order Lamiales, Family Lamiaceae)

 

Photos by David Sanchez, 2011


Diagnosis:
Height: 1-2 feet (30-60 cm) tall.
Stems: Erect, 4-sided, usually branched, pubescent.
Leaves. Opposite, simple, stalked, lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, 1 to 2.5 inches long, 0.25 to 0.75 inch wide, glabrous or sparsely hairy; margins toothed or infrequently nearly entire; tips pointed.
Inflorescences: Interrupted spikes of 1-6 densely flowered clusters; bracts conspicuous, leaf-like, densely grayish pubescent, upper surfaces whitish to pinkish purple; tips spiny-bristled.
Flowers: Calyces 5-lobed, hairy, tips bristle-like; corollas 2-lipped, resembling open snake mouths, to 1 inch long, white to lavender; upper lip arched, lower lip often purple spotted.
Fruits: 4 nutlets, smooth, yellowish brown, each 1-seeded.


Flowering Period: May, June, July.

Habitat: Rocky or sandy prairies, pastures, roadsides, and hillsides.


Etymology: The genus name honors Nicholas Monardes, a Spanish physician from Seville who wrote about New World medicinal plants in the 1500s. The specific epithet comes from Latin and means "give a fragrant smell".


Conservation status: Not threatened


Distribution: This species is widespread in Kansas (see http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MOCI). In the United States, the species is distributed south of Nebraska, Illinois, Utah.

Links:
Native Plant Database: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=MOCI
Types of Flowers: http://www.types-of-flowers.org/lemon-mint.html


References:
Haddock, Michael John 2005. Wildflowers and Grasses of Kansas. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 56 pp.
Great Plains Flora Association 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 724 pp


Image Credits:
Monarda Citriodora in the field. Photo by David Sanchez, 2011.
Monarda Citriodora in the lab. Photo by David Sanchez, 2011.

Submitted by: David Sanchez, July, 2011.

Wichita State University
Generated on 2011. This website is continuously updated.
Comments can be sent to Mary Liz Jameson.
Designed by Bioadventures.