Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Monarda citriodora, Lemon Beebalm

Monarda citriodora, Lemon BeebalmMonarda citriodora, Lemon BeebalmMonarda citriodora, Lemon BeebalmMonarda citriodora, Lemon Beebalm

Scientific Name: Monarda citriodora
Common Name: Lemon Beebalm
Also Called: Beebalm, Horsemint, Lemon Horsemint, Lemon Mint, Plains Horsemint, Purple Lemon Mint, Purple Horsemint
Family: Lamiaceae or Mint Family
Synonyms: (Monarda austromontana, Monarda citriodora var. austromontana)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual, biennial or perennial.
Size: Up to 2 feet tall or more (3).
Growth Form: Forb/herb; multiple stems erect from base.
Leaves: Green; leaves paired, lanceolate, mildly dentate.
Flower Color: Lavender to pink to whitish-pink; flowers in whorled inflorescence, flowers subtended with bracts useful in species identification.
Flowering Season: May, June, July and later with sufficient rainfall.
Elevation: 4,000 to 8,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Mesas, slopes, prairies, meadows; often in grasses, prefers alkaline soils.

Recorded Range: Lemon Beebalm is found mostly in the south half of the United States in; AL, AR, AZ, FL, GA, IL, KS, KY, LA, MO, MS, NE, NM, OK, SC, TN, TX and UT. It is also native to north and central Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Monarda citriodora.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: 17 species in Monarda throughout North America south to Mexico. 3 species in Arizona and California.

2 sub-species and 2 varieties in Monarda citriodora
Monarda citriodora subsp. austromontana, Lemon Beebalm (AZ, NM);
Monarda citriodora subsp. citriodora, Lemon Beebalm (Recorded Range above);
Monarda citriodora var. citriodora, Lemon Beebalm (Recorded Range above);
Monarda citriodora var. parva, Lemon Beebalm (TX only).

Comments: Lemon Beebalm is a popular landscape plant for its attractive flowers and ease of growth. It is an important species for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. When the leaves or stems are crushed it has a citrus-like fragrance similar to lemons. Others describe the odor as similar to that of oregano.

See ethno-botanical uses for Monarda citriodora Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 10/15/2105, updated format 09/27/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Monarda austromontana.
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 10/15/2105]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Monarda citriodora', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 13 July 2015, 20:51 UTC, [accessed 15 October 2015]
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information