This is a blog about the pursuits of Naturalist Alan Russo to incorporate all things Natural, especially Plants, into his daily life. Living close to Nature has always been a passion of mine and I try, with natures help, to live a Healthy lifestyle for myself and for the Earth.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A New Plant!

I always get excited when I discover a new plant.
 In an area that I have an old overgrown garden, a new plant has emerged that I have never seen before. I haven't been in that area of the yard much this year and when I went to take a look the other day I saw a very beautiful plant, in flower, that I did not recognize. It was definitely some king of Mint. It had a square stem and the flowers were obviously Mint like. It was unique as the flowers were in whorls around the stem and there were four clusters per stem. The flowers were a beautiful pink color. As soon as I realized it was a mint, I squeezed a leaf between my fingers to see if it was aromatic and the smell was very strong... and familiar. It smelled a lot like Bee Balm, Monarda didyama., yet it was surely not, as Bee Balm has only one whorl of flowers on the end of the stem. So, I hit the books. No luck. Than I hit the web, still no luck. I uploaded a couple of photos to a website to see if anyone had ever seen it before. Two folks got back to me with the same answer, Monarda citrodora. Once I had a name, I went back on the web and the photos I found matched my new plant!
 Once I knew what it was I could start experimenting with this new plant. The first thing, after taking photos that is, was to taste one of the flowers. Definitely tasted just like Bee Balm, I guess it runs in the family!
 I plan to save some leaves to dry so I can taste the tea made from them. I would like to take a whole flower stalk to dry to make a leaf/flower tea but I am hesitant as there are only two plants and one is rather small. I really want to save as many seeds as I can to plant this beautiful flower in my herb garden for next year so I want all the seeds I can get. Maybe this is the year of discovery and next year will be the year of experimentation. I'll decide the next time I go to admire it.

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