Amore Amaro

Monarda punctata

spotted beebalm

An image of spotted beebalm.

Original photo by: Elena Peabody.

Spotted beebalm is a North American native plant with medicinal properties. It isn’t used in any amari, but has been included in this garden design as a nod to the creative uses of botanicals across cultures and geographies.


Spotted beebalm is used to make tea, and in herbal medicine. According to the Plants For A Future database, spotted beebalm is used to treat digestive ailments and upper respiratory problems. It can also be applied topically to treat arthritis.1

The plant is also processed into an essential oil containing thymol, an antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal compound. It‘s worth noting, however, that in large quantities thymol can be fatal.2, 3

Historical context

Spotted beebalm was used medicinally by Indigenous Americans for digestive purposes, as well as to induce perspiration during a cold.4 Spotted beebalm was used by European colonial settlers, as well.5


Spotted beebalm grows best in full sun to partial shade. It enjoys dry to medium moisture, and will tolerate poor soils and drought.6


Spotted beebalm is susceptible to powdery mildew.7


  1. Plants For A Future, “Monarda punctata - L.” Accessed August 14, 2019.
  2. Ibid.
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “PubChem Compound Summary: Thymol.” Accessed August 14, 2019.
  4. Plants For A Future, op. cit.
  5. NASA Cultural Resources (CRGIS), “Cloverdale Interpretive Garden.” Accessed August 14, 2019.
  6. Missouri Botanical Garden, “Monarda punctata.” Accessed August 14, 2019.
  7. Ibid.


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