Annual or perennial herbs, subshrubs or shrubs to 1.5 m high. Leaves simple, serrate to nearly entire, very odoriferous when crushed. Flowers arranged in a single terminal cluster of flowers, or flowers arranged in interrupted spikes. The flower clusters usually subtended by white, yellow, lavender or purple bracts. Calyx tubular, 13-15 nerved, usually densely pubescent within at the orfice, the lobes similar in size and shape. Corollas strongly 2-lipped, white, yellowish or purplish; lower lips 3-lobed. Stamens 2. Ovary deeply 4-lobed; nutlets oblong with smooth surfaces. Base chromosome numbers, x = 8, 9, 11, 12, 17.
The genus name honors Nicolas Monardes, author of numerous articles on medicinal and useful plants during the latter half of the 16th century (Fernald 1950).
Correll, D.S. & M.C. Johnston. 1970. Monarda, in Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas 1370-1375. Texas Research Foundation, Renner, Texas.
Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany [8th ed.] 2: 1236-1238. American Book Co., New York, New York.
McClintock, E. & C. Epling. 1942. A review of the genus Monarda. Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 20: 147-194.
Scora, R. 1967. Interspecific relationships in the genus Monarda (Labiatae). Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 41: 1-71.
Shinners, L.H. 1953. Nomenclature of the varieties of Monarda punctata L. (Labiatae). Field & Lab. 21: 89-92.
Turner, B.L. 1994. Taxonomic treatment of Monarda (Lamiaceae) for Texas and Mexico. Phytologia 77: 56-79.
A very distinctive and common genus with about 20 species. One might think that the genus Monarda, which is an abundant roadside weed over most of Texas, would have been adequately studied taxonomically, especially since two inclusive systematic treatments of the genus by well-trained workers have appeared within the last 55 years (McClintock & Epling 1942; Scora 1967). But, as indicated by Turner (1994) the genus has been inadequately studied, especially in Texas and northern Mexico where most of the taxa are centered. Correll and Johnston (1970) recognized about 20 taxa distributed among 12 species, whereas Turner (1994) recognized 18 taxa in 11 species; we have followed the latter treatment in the present account.
Key to Texas Genus & Species Descriptions
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