Monarda punctata  L. - Horse Mint


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Monarda punctata - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Lamiaceae


Abandoned sandy fields, oak savanna, dunes.




VT to MN, south to FL and TX. Absent from WV and endangered in OH and PA.


Herbaceous perennial to 1 m. Leaves opposite, lanceolate, to 8 cm, often hairy. Flowers in terminal and axial head-like clusters; the involucral bracts lanceolate to ovate, much exceeding the calyx, spreading or reflexed, pale green to white to lavender; corolla pale yellow spotted with purple, to 2.5 cm; throat of the calyx densely hairy inside and somewhat hairy on the outside at the summit. 


Flowers early July to mid October

Wetland indicator: Upland

Easy to grow in sandy soil and will bloom the first year from seed if started indoors. Much of the showy aspect of this plant is the whorls of bracts subtending the inflorescences. All parts of the plants have an odor reminiscent of thyme or oregano due a high concentration of the essential oil thymol.

Photos by Gerald E Hough II, Ph.D.



Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.


USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.





 Michael Hough 2005