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Wildflower Wednesday

This week’s Wildflower Wednesday feature flower is Bee Balm.

Also known as Wild Bergamot or Oswego tea, this native wildflower blooms July-September. It has fragrant pompom shaped flowers that are red or purple, square stems and leaves that grow opposite each other.

Its common name of Bee Balm is a reference to its use to treat bee stings. Wild Bergamot is a reference to is flavor being like Earl Gray tea and Oswego Tea is a reference to the name of the river where Native American’s collected it in upstate New York.

Bee Balm is high in Thymol which is a strong antiseptic. Not only is it beneficial for treating wounds and common illnesses, but also helps prevent diseases in bee colonies.

Bee balm is a member of the mint family.

When you rub its leaves, it smells like oregano and when made into tea it has a flavor like bergamot (citrus).

In the language of flowers, it symbolizes sympathy and compassion.


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