Double monarda - "Oswego tea"

Monarda will decorate the garden and provide a tasty and healthy drink

"Oswego Tea" - so called the North American Indians an amazing plant that lives in nature along the shores of Lake Oswego on the east coast of North America.

Europeans, who became acquainted with this aromatic plant after the discovery of America, also liked it and quickly spread in the Old World. The British - connoisseurs of tea - called it "Bergamot".

And two centuries later, Karl Linnaeus, in his classification of plants, gave him the name «Monarda ”in honor of the Spanish physician and botanist Nicholas Batista Monardes (N. B. Monardes), who described this and other useful plants in America in his writings in the middle of the 16th century. Monardes himself called this plant Canadian oregano or Virginian soulmate.

It is about this -


, aromatic and ornamental plant monarda double (Monarda didyma) I also want to tell. it


about 1 m in height. Its stems are erect, branching at the top. Leaves are oblong-lanceolate with large teeth. Tubular-funnel-shaped flowers (they can be pink, purple, lilac) are collected in capitate (at the tops of the stems) or whorled (in the axils of the leaves) large inflorescences with a diameter of 6-7 cm.The flowering of the monarda continues throughout the second half of summer, due to which it is widely cultivated in gardens as an ornamental plant.

But the main value of the monarda is in its aromatic and healing properties. Describing a scent is not a rewarding task. If we compare it with plants known in Russia, then in its aroma there are common notes with








... But there is also something of


, eucalyptus. All this makes the scent of Monarda very specific and pleasant.

The Indians have long noticed the healing properties of monarda: leaves healed wounds and treated skin infections, infusion of flowers and leaves was used to rinse the mouth and throat, heal the gums, for headaches, fever, and also as a general stimulant.

Modern studies of the composition of monarda have found substances that determine its medicinal properties. This is, first of all, thymol, the content of which in essential oil reaches 80%. In addition, monarda oil contains carvacrol (up to 9%), terpinene (up to 16%), monardin, linalool, cineole, limonene and other useful substances. Thanks to them, the monarda has a high bactericidal, fungicidal, anthelmintic activity, as well as immunomodulatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antisclerotic, radioprotective, antistress, adaptogenic and anticarcinogenic effects.

It has been established that monarda double has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, liver and spleen, improves blood composition, increases the digestibility of food, is an effective remedy against colds and coughs, helps with bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, tracheitis, vomiting, and also strengthens the walls blood capillaries, dilates the blood vessels of the heart and thereby lowers high blood pressure.

Infusion and juice of the herb promote wound healing, help fight eczema, flaking skin, acne, dandruff.

Monarda's valuable medicinal and aromatic raw materials can always be at hand if there are several bushes of this perennial unpretentious winter-hardy plant in your garden area. You can grow it from seeds. It is best to sow them in March-April in a box on the windowsill, the seeding depth is 0.5 cm.After three weeks, seedlings should be


in cups, and in May, plant seedlings on a permanent, well-lit place in the garden with an interval of 30 cm. Monarda is not particularly demanding for soils, but on damp, heavy and


soil grows worse.

She is hardy. Here, in Siberia, it hibernates without shelter. It grows well, so it should not be kept in one place for more than 4-5 years, as the plantings will thicken. Then it will be necessary to divide the bushes and transplant the delenki to a new place.

Medicinal raw materials - the upper part of the shoots with flowers and leaves - are harvested from the second year. The stems are cut at least 30 cm from the soil surface at the time of mass flowering. The herb is dried, crushed and stored in sealed bags or jars to prevent the aroma from escaping.

Monarda enriches the bouquet of any tea mixture well, which is widely used by tea producers. It perfectly flavors various tinctures, liqueurs, tonic drinks, gives a special aroma to any

jam, jelly, compotes and marinades

... Monarda is added as a spicy seasoning to borscht, soups, okroshka.

To everyone who is interested in this useful and beautiful plant, I will gladly send monarda seeds. They, as well as seeds of more than 200 other rare medicinal, spicy, melliferous plants, vegetables, flowers, shrubs, can be ordered from the catalog. Send an envelope with your address - Anisimov Gennady Pavlovich: 634024, Tomsk, st. 5th Army, 29 - 33, mob. Tel. (MTS) 8913 8518 103 - get the catalog in it for free. The catalog can also be found on the website or to receive by e-mail - send a request to E-mail: [email protected]

Gennady Anisimov, experienced gardener, Tomsk
Photo by Natalia Butyagina

Monarda (Monagda)

Monarda (Monagda) is a herbaceous plant from the family of labiates (Lamiaceae). Her homeland is North America and Mexico, from where the plant was brought to Spain after Columbus discovered a new continent. But Europeans learned about the monard only 85 years later from the books of the doctor Nicholas Monardes "Joyful news from the New World" and "Medical history of Western India" (1569-1580), where it was called "Canadian Origan" and "Verginsky soul". After 2 centuries, the plant was included by Karl Linnaeus in his classification of species ("Types of plants", 1753), and the genus was named in honor of N. Monardes - "Monarda".

Then they forgot about the monard and remembered only a century later. In Europe and Asia, it began to be cultivated as an essential oil plant. By the beginning of the 19th century. Monarda was grown under the names: bergamot - for its resemblance to the aroma of a citrus plant - bergamot, Oswego tea - this is how the Indians of the Oswego tribe used it, bee or scent balm - the plant is a wonderful honey plant, American lemon balm, Indian feather, mountain balm, lemon mint.

The genus Monarda has up to twenty species. Most of them are perennial plants, the aerial part of which dies in winter and is renewed in spring. The stem of the monarda is straight, branched, up to 100-140 cm high, the leaves are serrated oblong-lanceolate small flowers collected in 2-3 capitate inflorescences 6-7 cm in diameter, located. one above the other along the stem. Monarda blooms from July to late summer. Propagated by seeds, dividing bushes (best in spring) and root cuttings. Seeds sprout on the 15-20th day.

The plant loves the sun, but also tolerates partial shade. The underground part of the monarda is quite winter-hardy. Four to five-year-old bushes have up to 100-150 flowering shoots, which create a decorative effect. However, the monarda should not be kept in one place for more than six years, since the central part of the bush begins to fall out and the productivity of the plant decreases.

Monarda is unpretentious to soils, it does not tolerate only strongly acidic and very damp ones. Responds well to organic fertilization.

In decorative floriculture, three types of monarda are most common: double, tubular, or fist, and lemon.

Double monard (M. didyma) - the tallest and widespread species.

In the culture there are garden forms and varieties with a compact bush, bright color of inflorescences - red, purple, pink, white, lilac.

The most famous varieties of American selection:

  • Adam (Adam) - has large scarlet-red inflorescences, a compact bush, grows well in partial shade, but better in the sun.
  • Mahogany. The flowers, collected in inflorescences, are twisted at the ends, which gives the plant an original look. The petals are dark red. Both leaves and flowers with a strong smell. The variety is distinguished by long flowering (until frost), effective in summer bouquets.
  • Croftway Pink is one of the most attractive varieties with lilac-pink flowers. Blooms profusely in the shade. Many find it irresistible and suitable for cutting.
  • Snow White is a variety with pure white flowers. Effective both in single-varietal plantings and in combination with a variety of plants. The bush is tall and compact.

Other varieties are known: Cambridge Scar-lit - with bright red, Prairie Glow, Sunset - purple, Snow Maidn - white, Rose Queen - with pink flowers.

Monarda fistulous, or tubular (M. fistulosa), differs from monarda by a double-chanted somewhat lower bush height. Valued as an essential oil plant with a high thymol content, used in medicine and perfumery.

This type of monarda is widespread in floriculture, especially its dwarf variety - a plant 10-35 cm high, with dark green leaves and light lavender flowers.

Monarda lemon (M. cit-riodora). This species is especially interesting for growing on personal plots, since it can be used not only as an ornamental, but also as a gingerbread vegetable plant. The leaves, stems and flowers of lemon monarda contain essential oil, which contains the same components as basil, mint, lemon balm and other gingerbread plants.

Monarda is also known as a medicinal plant, due to its essential oil, which has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. There is information on the use of monarda fistula for the treatment of bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, and radiation sickness. It also turned out that the essential oil of this type of monarda contributes to the treatment of salmonella infection.

The juice from the leaves of monarda is used to heal wounds, and in case of fractures, wounds, tea with the addition of dry or fresh herbs is recommended.

For tea 2 tbsp. tablespoons of crushed leaves, flowers (inflorescences) and stems pour 200 ml of boiling water, leave for 20-30 minutes, filter, add sugar to taste and drink 1/4 cup 3 times a day.

When studying monarda double, fist and lemon, recipes were drawn up using fresh and dry raw materials for salads, seasonings, okroshkas, casseroles, cereals, sweets, juices, fillings.

As a gingerbread vegetable crop, lemon monarda is included in the catalogs of many countries. In the United States, for example, it is widely used as an additive to tea, a seasoning for meat dishes and salads to stimulate appetite and improve digestion.

Monarda can rightfully claim a place in the list of vegetable gingerbread plants among our amateur gardeners. The folk plant of the American Indians is beautiful, healing and delicious.

Manarda in Latin.

From history: from the red flowers of the wild-growing monarda double, the indigenous people of North America brewed tea, the taste of which resembled mint. White settlers used this tea called 'Osewego' for stomach pains and as an antipyretic.
Description: the genus has 12 (20) species,
Annual and perennial rhizome plants with straight or branched stems up to 150 cm tall, with simple, oblong-lanceolate, serrated leaves. The flowers are small, fragrant, white, red, purple, yellowish or speckled, two-lipped, collected in dense racemose or capitate inflorescences 6-7 cm in diameter, often located one above the other on the stem. The fruit is a nut. Leaves, stems and inflorescences have a wide bouquet of aromas (mint, lemon, etc.).

Monarda (Monara) is a herbaceous plant of the Lamiaceae family.
Its homeland is North America and Mexico, where the monarda is spread in places very widely, like a weed. After Columbus discovered a new continent, the monarda was brought to Spain. But the Europeans learned about the monard only 85 years later - from the books of the doctor Nicholas Monardes "Good news from the New World" (1569) and "Medical history of Western India" (1580). In these books, the monarda was called "Origan Canadian" and "Verginsky soul". Two centuries later, Karl Linnaeus included this plant in his classification of species ("Plant Species", 1753), and the genus was named "Monarda" in honor of H. Monardes.
Then they forgot about the monard for a long time, and remembered about it only a century later. In Europe and Asia, the monarda began to be cultivated as an essential oil plant. The leaves, stems and inflorescences of almost all types of monarda have a varied bouquet of strong aromas (mint, lemon, etc.). By the beginning of the 19th century, monarda was already widely grown under the names: bergamot (for the similarity of the smell of monarda leaves with the scent of a citrus plant - bergamot), Oswego tea (the Indians of the Oswego tribe used it to make tea), bee balm, scented balm, American lemon balm, Indian feather, mountain balm, lemon mint.

Monarda (Monarda Lamiaceae).
monarda double or double (Monarda didyma Lamiaceae)
Monarda fistulosa, or tubular (Monarda fistulosa Lamiaceae)
hybrid monarda (Monarda X hybrida hort.).

Double monarda - Monarda didyma,
Monarda hybrid - Monarda hybrida

Cooking assistant

From personal experienceI tried adding pureed monarda leaves to horseradish. In combination with sour cream, a wonderful aromatic seasoning for meat dishes is obtained.

Young greens monards can be eaten like spinach and meat seasoning.

If you skip the leaves of monarda through a meat grinder along with garlic, carrots and tomatoes, you get an excellent seasoning - a sauce for side dishes for any second course.

Fresh leaves as a spice added to salads, fish dishes, soups, borscht, okroshka... And also - to game and poultry. Monarda will not only improve the taste of the prepared dish, but also facilitate the assimilation of indigestible food.

Growing seedlings of monarda

But in most cases, flowers are planted with seedlings. Why spend in January-February:

  • sowing seeds in containers filled with damp soil, with pallets
  • after sowing, sprinkle with soil on top to a thickness of 1.5-2 cm
  • close the top with a film
  • put in a greenhouse or a dark and warm (at least 20 degrees) place.

The first shoots will appear no earlier than three weeks later. They wait the same amount, after which they pick the plants into boxes or cups. We plant seedlings in containers according to the 4x4 cm scheme. We put them in a lighted place, water them regularly.

Spectacular flower arrangements with monarda

Monards are welcome components of mixborders, but they also look great in solitary groups along paths, against the background of a lawn or tree and shrub plantations.

These plants give a good cut, retaining their decorative appearance in a vase for up to 3 weeks. Monards attract pollinators to the garden. Birds eat with pleasure on the seeds of these plants, therefore it is recommended to cut off the dead aerial part not in autumn, but in spring.

Monards are quite resistant to diseases and pests. In the case of insufficient moisture and excess organic matter, powdery mildew may develop in the soil. Affected stems are cut and burned. It is possible to process plantings with pesticides if the plants are used only as ornamental. It is no longer possible to brew tea from the leaves after using chemicals. Monarda bushes are divided in the fall. Strong healthy plants 3-5 years old are suitable for this procedure.

The specimen is dug up and divided into parts so that each one has 3-4 shoots and well-developed roots. Delenki during planting are watered abundantly, in the spring they must be fed with full mineral fertilizer.

  • Young leaves of lemon monarda, fragrant with lemon, are added to salads and tea, sometimes used to flavor homemade wine and alcoholic cocktails.
  • They are good as a seasoning for some types of seafood (crabs), for poultry.
  • In America, lemon monarda leaves are widely used in the confectionery industry to flavor baked goods and sweet sauces.

Monardy wondrous scent

In our area, the double monard is now in full bloom. "Shaggy" bright red flowers in the flower beds attract butterflies. And varietal plants surprise with pale pink, lilac, purple and even white flowers. I really want to find a white monarda - if you believe the photos that I came across, it looks extraordinary! But regular red is also good:

Although, to be honest, I love this plant not so much for the flowers as for the scent of the leaves - strong, rich, reminiscent of mint (or rather, even lemon balm). They say they are distant relatives with mint :) Tea with dried monarda leaves is something! Therefore, in my garden there is always a place reserved for her.

I also read that monarda leaves can be used fresh in salads and as a seasoning for cooking meat dishes. True, this does not apply to hybrid plants - they are planted solely for beauty, and not for gastronomic purposes. For now, I also limit myself to tea.

Growing a monarda is not difficult. It can grow in the sun, and in partial shade, the soil prefers loose, rich in nutrients. If the conditions suit it, it grows well - sometimes it is even recommended to limit its growth by planting it in a large bucket without a bottom.

The bush should be divided every three to four years. If this is not done, the plant weakens over time, thins, begins to hurt. Sharing the monarda in the spring is, by the way, the fastest and most reliable way of its reproduction.

But back to leaving. Double monarda is a moisture-loving plant, so in a dry summer you will have to water it quite often, at least twice a week. On dry soil, it develops poorly and may even get sick with its main enemy - powdery mildew. A weakened plant also blooms worse, and looks rather inconspicuous. By the way, peduncles should be cut off in time: the wilted monarda does not decorate the flower garden either, it looks untidy.

But this, perhaps, ends the care of the monard. And if you plant it in a corner of a garden with moist soil - for example, near a reservoir - then watering is not required. This plant will also be comfortable in natural compositions, on the outskirts of shrub thickets.

Despite its catchy appearance, the monarda is not an individualist)) It looks great in combination with other plants, not only garden plants, but also wild ones. Tall Veronica, goldenrod, sage, stonecrop, daylilies, echinacea, coreopsis are suitable for her as partners. Thanks to the scent of leaves, which, by the way, is felt even if you just touch the bush, the monarda will logically fit into the composition of spicy herbs, enriching it with bright colors. And I want to try to plant a motherwort next to it: it is also in bloom right now. In my opinion, it should turn out well!

Monarda in the summer garden

Monarda has many names: Indian nettle, bee balm, wild bergamot, horse mint, golden lemon balm. And how varied and interesting are its names, so varied are the requirements for the growing conditions of its various species. An undemanding and winter-hardy twin monarda (Monarda didyma), common in eastern North America, prefers nutritious, fresh soil, sunny or slightly shaded location. From July to September, bright red flowers adorn the garden with their exotic look and fill it with the cool scent of mint and citrus. Monarda double loves to be fertilized with fresh compost every year.

Monarda fistulosa, which came to us from Mexico and California, feels great in dry, sandy soils and does not need additional fertilizers. The monarda is fistous compared to the monarda double, higher and more branched, and the lilac, pink and whitish flowers are smaller. In garden centers, they most often offer hybrids of monarda fistus and monarda double, which are absolutely not demanding on growing conditions. But nevertheless, before buying, you should pay attention to the label: despite the fact that this is a hybrid plant, one of the two species predominates in it, and the growing conditions should be guided by it. As a rule, monarda hybrids do not tolerate stagnant water and winter moisture, so a little sand or gravel should be added to clay soil.

The next, no less attractive species is the lemon monarda (Monarda citriodora), originally from North America. It is the only annual species of the monarda genus. From July until the very frost, the plant blooms profusely with dark lilac and light purple flowers, collected in inflorescences similar to candelabra. During flowering, lemon monarda envelops the garden with a pleasant lemon scent. She needs to set aside a sunny area in the garden with dry sandy soil. The hybrid monarda (Monarda fistulosa x tetraploid) will bloom well only in nutritious and fresh soil and exude its characteristic intense and beloved aroma of roses.

Monarda punctata is grown not so much for nondescript yellowish flowers with brown spots, but because of the beautiful pink leaves surrounding the inflorescences. Plants of this species prefer areas well lit by bright sun and drained soil.

Special tea with bergamot aroma

A real delight for all senses is the lemon scent of Monarda didyma leaves with a light spicy note. Even the Indians of the Oswego tribe brewed delicious tea from the leaves of this aromatic plant. Monarda fistulosa has a spicy aroma reminiscent of marjoram. The plant shows all its healing power in the treatment of colds, bronchitis and nausea. To date, the question of whether hybrid varieties have medicinal properties has not been fully clarified.

Monarda leaves are irreplaceable helpers of housewives in the kitchen. They are used like thyme, one of the main aromatic herbs in French cuisine. All types of monarda are perfect for flavoring soups, brewing tea, they are used to season meat dishes, potpourri, as even in dry form they retain their color and smell. Fresh leaves are harvested all summer long. Leaves and flowers for drying are best collected from old plants.

Monarda attracts many bumblebees, bees and butterflies with its sweet nectar, while scaring away harmful insects with its rich aroma. Tip: Monarda has a beneficial effect on the growth, development, taste and aroma of tomatoes, therefore, it is excellent for them as a previous culture.

Location in the garden

Monarda grows well in open sunny areas, and feels good in the shade. A wild prairie flower needs warmth.

Monarda, reaching from 80 to 120 cm in height, looks great in group plantings, suitable for creating borders, mixborders. Its red, purple, pink, yellowish and white flowers, combined with Echinacea purpurea (Acanthus), Lythrum salicaria, Physostegia virginiana and grasses, create a true "prairie" flower garden.

Plant peach bells (Campanula persicifolia), white astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii), iris (Iris), and black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) next to the monarda for a glossy garden. Since all types of monarda tolerate light shade well, it can be safely grown under the canopy of trees and large shrubs with a rare openwork crown.

Most varieties about one meter high are placed in a flower garden in the center. But there are also low-growing varieties of monarda, reaching only 30-60 cm, which will perfectly decorate the foreground of the flower garden, as well as tall ones, creating a magnificent flowering curtain in the background.

No drought!

Both people and plants suffer from heat and drought. Monarda is no exception. During the dry period, the prairie beauty should be watered, otherwise conditions favorable for the development of powdery mildew will be created. Interestingly, non-red varieties of monarda tolerate drought better than fiery red ones (since they have a different origin: red varieties originated from monarda double, all the others from monarda fistus).

Endurance Monarda

Monarda is recommended to be grown in nutrient-rich soil. A balanced fertilization also gives a good result. After all, the stronger the plant is, the better and longer it will be able to withstand its main disease - powdery mildew. Therefore, it is advisable to regularly dig up monarda bushes, divide them and transplant them into new, nutritious soil. At the same time, strong external shoots of old plants are planted, and weak, internal ones are thrown away. Monards generally grow in width in such a way that in the middle of the bush the shoots remain weak, while strong shoots grow around the circumference of the bush. "Bald spots" in the center of lush thickets will not decorate a flower garden in the least. Therefore, it is recommended to regularly divide monarda bushes.

Enemy number one: powdery mildew

The causative agent of the disease monarda powdery mildew (Erysiphe cichoracearum) is a fungus that loves temperature changes and frequent changes in periods of dryness and humidity. First, a white bloom appears on the top of the leaves, which eventually becomes a dirty brown color. Because of this, the plant looks unattractive, and if severely damaged, it dies.

The best treatment is prevention. The correct location, sufficient distance between the plants, pruning after flowering and regular sufficient watering will all help prevent the monarda from becoming infected with such an unpleasant disease. When buying, you should pay attention to varieties that are more resistant to diseases. These include 'Aquarius' with light purple flowers, 'Fishes', which strikes with disheveled salmon-colored flowers, or the purple variety 'Purple Ann'.

If, despite the observance of all precautions, you still did not manage to protect the monard from being damaged by powdery mildew, do not despair. A wonderful biological miracle weapon will help the plant: milk! Australian researchers have shown that lactic acid bacteria contained in milk give a good result in the fight against powdery mildew, as well as in preventing re-infection. In addition, the contained sodium phosphate enhances the defenses of the plant. For optimal effect, spray the affected monarda bushes with a mixture of water and milk twice a week (take 1/8 liter of milk for 1 liter of water).

Translation: Lesya V.
specially for the internet portal
garden center "Your Garden"

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