Up to Its Neck in Horsemint
A large black wasp or wasp-like insect was burrowing into these horsemint blossoms as though its life depended on it. I loved the metallic neon blue on its wings.
DP235-2014 Posted August 23; processed August 22.
Horsemint (Monarda punctata) is a native plant in the mint family. It has bracts that typically are showier than the relatively inconspicuous blossoms. You can't see it on these stalks, but many of the plants have bracts that are a distinct lilac or lavender hue. Another common name is Spotted Beebalm. Disambiguation notice: Other plants have been given the common name 'Horsemint'. In fact, if you simply google 'horsemint', two additional plants appear early in the 'greatest hits' list, namely Monarda citriodora (Lemon Beebalm) and Mentha longifolia (European Horsemint). Continue down the list of google hits, and you'll see that 'Horsemint' is also used for wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), and almost every other kind of Monarda. To confuse matters even more, there's a relative of Monardas, Blephilia ciliata, that is called Ohio horsemint.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor
Taken August 21, 2014
Title: Up to Its Neck in Horsemint