Lemon Mint or Purple Horsemint

by Donna Lewis

Many of us who own some acreage probably are seeing this unusual plant right about now It goes by several names: Beebalm, Plains Horsemint, Lemon Beebalm, or Purple Horsemint, while its Latin name is Monarda citriodora.  Wow…who knows what to call it?  I don’t think the botanists can agree.  Myself, I like easy things to remember.

I also have noticed that after looking in four different reference books from my own library, it can look very different from the photo in each book.  That is confusing for sure. I think the soil has something to do with the shade of pale yellow and the purple color.

This one at Donna’s house is quite purple.

This plant likes dry, sandy, or rocky soils. It grows one to three feet tall with leaves up to two to three inches long and is a member of the mint family. It is an important pollinator plant here in Texas.

This one is from the Walker’s Creek area near Cameron and is more pink. Photo by Sue Ann Kendall.

So don’t mow it down, it’s NOT a weed.

Have you done something for the planet today?