Fall is a great time to enjoy wildflowers in Florida. One of the wildflowers blooming in the Florida Botanical Gardens right now is Bee Balm, Monarda punctata. This is an herbaceous perennial that typically grows to about 18” tall and spreads. Like other herbaceous members of the mint family (Labiatae), Bee Balm has leaves that are in an opposite arrangement on a square stem. You can feel the angular shape of the stem by rolling it between your thumb and forefinger. The pinkish-purple showy parts that are most noticeable are not the flowers, but bracts. If you look closely above you can see the flowers above the bracts; the flower tubes are pale with purple spots.
Bee Balm is attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds, which makes it an excellent plant for attracting wildlife. The Bee Balm in the Gardens is just buzzing with life right now! Click here for more information on this plant.