Bee balm.

Subject: Re: Monarda
From: (Dorothy McLeod)
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 18:19:47 -0500

I've been growing a pink-flowered monarda for a couple of years, but haven't used it much in cooking so far. One idea I meant to try but didn't get a chance to last summer is to take a handful of flowers and pound them into some butter. It should be great on toast or crackers. I guess you could use a food processor too and then form the soft butter into a roll an inch or two in diameter and store in the freezer.

From: Ellen Bard <
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 1996 11:43:55 -0600 (CST)

Another possibility for the varation in your two "bee balms" is that some people erroneously refer to Cleome speciosa as bee balm. It is more commonly known as spider plant or bee plant, but I have known more than one old-timer call it bee balm -- perhaps because both Monarda and Cleome are native here in Arkansas.

From: Cathy Mackin <

The following information is taken from RODALE'S ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBS...

Beebalm species and varieties:
Monarda citriodora: pink-purple blossom; strong lemon scent; excellent in tea
M. didyma 'Adam': moderate red blossom
M. didyma 'Alba': ivory blossom
M. didyma 'Blue Stocking': violet-purple blossom
M. didyma 'Cambridge Scarlet': bright red blossom
M. didyma 'Croftway Pink': cear rosy pink blossom
M. didyma 'Mahogany': deep red blossom
M. didyma 'Melissa: pale pink blossom
M. didyma 'Pale Ponticum'; Lavender blossom
M. didyma 'Pillar Box': bright red blossom
M. didyma 'Snow Maiden': white blossom
M. fistulosa: lavender blossom; strong fragrance.

(There are other species. M. citriodora is an annual, M. didyma and M. fistulosa are perennials. The best of the lot is, hands down, no contest whatsoever, M. didyma 'Cambridge scarlet'. -Henriette)


Taken without permission from "the Business of Herbs":

National Herb Week Punch

1 gallon cranberry- raspberry juice with ½ gallon set aside
1 qt. can apricot nectar
2 qt. bee balm tea- with 1 qt. set aside
1 orange slices
1 lemon sliced
2 qt. club soda

Prepare the day ahead by putting all the ingredients in the refrigerator to chill. Combine ½ gallon of cran-raspberry juice and 1 qt. bee balm tea and freeze in ice cube trays or quart freezer containers. Freeze for 24 hours before serving time. To serve, put frozen juice in punch bowl and pour remaining liquid over, adding orange and lemon slices. Add soda and float bee balm flowers on top.