Monarda fistulosa L.
The plants are growing in a cluster in my yard at home. They were planted, not naturally occurring. I absolutely LOVE the smell and it was a joy to dissect, and I even made tea afterwards 🙂
Tall up-right stems (3 ft or taller when mature) that end in a tight cluster of bright pink flowers. The stems are 4-sided (tell-tale sign of the mint family) and the leaves are opposite, lance-shaped, and serrated. Very aromatic smell, reminiscent to thyme.
A close-up of the “head’ of the flower. To my surprise, it is actually a cluster of MANY flowers! I first noticed this when I saw that each appendage had 1 stamen and 1 pistil.
The base of the petals and sepals are very firmly attached to the stem. This displays the way the leaves are arranged opposite.
Here is a close-up of the stamen and pistil. The pistil appears to be superior to the stamen. The stamen also shows to filaments fused together by the anther.
After picking off the flowers, his is what is left of the head of the flower.
A final dissection photo showing the
2 leaves (2-3 in L X 1/2″ W)
8 sepals (burgandy color) (25mm – 1.5 cm W X 2-4 cm L)
10 flowers that have bloomed and showing their reproductive organs (4-5 cm L)
19 flowers that have not bloomed (total of 29 flowers) (35 mm-1 cm L)
Flower head (2.5 cm in diameter)
A cross-section of the flower head.