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Wild Bergamont-Horsemint

Monarda fistulosa
Photo: Laura Griffin

Also called: M. menthifolia, M. bradburiana

Habitat: Semi-shaded woods, moist meadows, ditches, thickeys, coulee slopes, floodplains.Common in the southern half of Alberta & in the Peace River country.

Description: Purple-rose-coloured irregular flowers. Each flower long-tubular, with long (12 mm) upper lip bearded at the tip, lower curved lip with 3 lobes. Two protuding, pale green stamen sometimes with purple tips.Broad, lanced shape leaves that are arranged opposite about the stem, truncate at base,toothed with prominent veins underneath. Crushed leaves smell like mint. Often occurs in colonies.

Size: 30-100 cm stems.

Fun Facts: Bergamont is often the main ingredient in Earl Grey tea; some native tribes use tea made from the leaves and flowers to soothe stomach pains in small amounts. The Blackfoot also used the boiled leaves to treat pimples.

Source: Wilkinson, K. Wildflowers of Alberta: A Guide to Common Wildflowers and Other Herbaceous Plants. 1999. University of Alberta Press and Lone Pine Publishing.

area wildlife + plants

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
Spermophilus tridecemlineatus
  Back is covered in alternating spotted and pale stripes.  Between the stripes, the coat is brown in color.  The nose, cheeks, belly and eye circle are all pale in color.  It has large eyes, and small ears.
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