Lemon mint

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Lemon mint
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Monarda citriodora.jpg
Plant Info
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Scientific classification
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Lamiales
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Family: Lamiaceae
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Genus: Monarda
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Species: citriodora
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Binomial name
Monarda citriodora
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Lemon mint (Monarda citriodora), also called purple horse mint or lemon beebalm, is, as the names imply, a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), which has a citrus smell when crushed, reminiscent of the fruit of the actual lemon plant, and which has purple flowers that prove irresistible to both bees and hummingbirds. Sometimes, especially late in the season, the odor is described as resembling oregano more than lemon.

This widespread plant grows in prairies, roadsides and other sunny habitats from California to Florida, and from Nebraska to Texas. It prefers soils with a high percentage of clay, such as the vertisols and mollisols typical of tallgrass prairies, where it sometimes forms impressive blankets of summer flowers.

Most recipes bearing the name "lemon mint" actually use spearmint and the juice or other components of the actual fruit of the lemon plant rather than this plant. However, lemon mint is occasionally used in herbal teas.

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