Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Monarda fistulosa L.
- Family: Mint Labiatae
- Flowering: June-September
- Field Marks: This species has single heads of flowers on each stem and very short teeth on the sepals up to 1/16 inch long.
- Habitat: A wide variety of habitats, including wet meadows, damp prairies, pastures,
roadside ditches, along streams, around ponds, and in damp thickets.
- Habit: Erect perennial, with slender, creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, branched or unbranched, up to 4 feet tall, short-hairy on the upper part of the stem, usually smooth on the lower part.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, lanceolate to ovate, up to 4 inches long, up to 2 inches wide, pointed at the tip, truncate or tapering to the base, coarsely toothed, usually short-hairy, aromatic, dotted; leaf stalks up to 1 inch long.
- Flowers: Numerous in single heads at the tips of the branches, each head up to 1 1/2
inches across, each flower subtended by a green to pinkish bract that often curves backward;
flowers up to 1 1/2 inches long.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below into a tube up to 1/2 inch long, the 5 teeth spine-like, up to 1/16 inch long.
- Petals: 5, lavender to purple, united below into a tube, with 3 lobes on one side and 2 on the other, short-hairy on the outer surface.
- Stamens: 2, protruding beyond the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, 4-parted.
- Fruits: Nutlets 4, oblong to obovoid, dark brown to black, up to 1/10 inch long.
- Notes: The plants of this species in the western United States are usually referred to as var. menthifolia. The nutlets are eaten by small mammals.
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