Basil Balm or White Bergamot,  Monarda clinopodia
Lamiaceae or Mint Family

Plant Upright plant, about 3-4 feet tall.  Leaves in pairs opposite each other, roughly oval, longer than wide, pointed and toothed.  Flowers from dense hemispherical heads above white-streaked bracts (leaf-like structures below the flowers).  When flowers are still in bud, the whitened bracts resemble a flower (below, left). Flowers themselves are long narrow tubes split into two lips at end, white, dotted with pink.  Stamens follow the upper lip and protrude at top.  Very showy.

A charming native of shaded woolands.  In Wildwood, occasional in the deep woods of the eastern slope.

The showy white flower heads are distinctive.  Other members of the genus Monarda found in the Park have similar flowers heads of other colors: deep purple in purple bergamot, lilac in wild bergamot, and red in bee balm. They also prefer more open areas.

Flower head