Origin: Eastern North America
Improvement status: Cultivated wild material
Seeds per packet: ~230
Germination tested 1/2022: 40%
Life cycle: Annual or Perennial
Also known as horsemint, this sometimes perennial (but often re-seeding annual) is a beautiful native herb with a variety of culinary and medicinal uses. Its very distinctive pink and yellow flowers resemble a crown. This is a beautiful plant that will be a welcome addition to any ornamental planting, perennial bed, or herb garden. It's also great for interplanting with larger perennials like fruit trees or berries (it can be established as a permanent competitor to perennial weeds like mugwort). Medicinally, it has a history of use for stomach ailments, kidney disease, neuralgia, colds, diarrhea, pain, and inflamattion. The plant contains thymol, a well-known (and flavorful) fungicide and antiseptic.
GROWING TIPS: Surface sow in spring. Starting in pots is probably preferable due to small seed size, but direct sowing is also a option.
Spotted beebalm does well in full sun to part shade and does well in any well drained soil. Tolerates drought and extremely weak soil, including bare sand or gravel. While generally considered a perennial, this species is short lived and sometimes dies after a single year, seed heads should be left in place to allow for self-seeding.