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Bee balm

Scientific name: Monarda didyma
Family: Labiatae (Lamiaceae)

Monarda species are colourful flowering plants native to North America, where they were used as a medicinal plant long before they were introduced in Europe as ornamental plants. They go by many names, including bee balm, horsemint and Oswego tea – the latter referring to an infusion made from its aromatic flowers and leaves that native Americans from the Oswego area used as a cold remedy. Due to increasing demand, a wide range of Monarda species and varieties are now available on the market. This plant’s fragrant leaves and flowers are ideal for flavouring drinks and fruit salads as well as to garnish various dishes.