Wildflower of the Week by Chick Keller

This week’s flower is a beauty—bee balm or monarda  (Monarda fistula var. menthifolia).
 
It’s a lot prettier than my poor photograph.  It’s in the mint family and smells like tarragon or oregano.  It often blooms in big bunches with as many as 30 stems and flowers.  Hummingbirds love it as well as butterflies and other insects.
 
From Wikipedia:  Wild bergamot was considered a medicinal plant by many Native Americans including the Menominee, the Ojibwe, and the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk). It was used most commonly to treat colds, and was frequently made into a tea. Today, many families still use wild bergamot during the cold and flu season. The tea may be sweetened with honey, as it tends to be quite strong.
 
Enjoy.