Botanical Name:: Blephilia ciliata
Species: B. ciliata
*B. brevifolia Raf.
- B. ciliata f. ciliata.
*B. heterophyla Raf. B. pratensis Raf.
*Monarda beckii Eaton.
- Monarda ciliata L.
Common Names: Downy wood mint. Downy pagoda plant, Sunny woodmint and Ohio horsemint.
Habitat: Blephilia ciliata is native to Eastern North American and through parts of the Central United States. Plants occur from Canada south to Georgia and west to Oklahoma. It grows on the Indigenous to dry open woods, prairies, savannas, limestone bluffs, glades, barrens, clearings, fields, steep slopes, disturbed sites and roadsides. Plants often occur in thin soils over limestone.
Blephilia ciliata is an upright clump forming perennial plant. It grows up to 0.7 m (2ft 4in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a fast rate.
The flowers are pollinated by Bees, Insects.
Stems are stout and square and are clad in oblong gray-green leaves. In early summer dense rounded lavender to pink globular flower clusters encircle the stems. The flowers are frequented by native bees and other pollinators.
Young Blephilia ciliata plants are sturdy and upright with angular unbranched stems. Plants expand slowly to form dense clumps with many vertical stems that are anchored by a substantial tap root.
Foliage is toothed and lance shaped or oblong. The leaves are opposite or arranged in pairs along the stem. Leaves and stems are pubescent and faintly aromatic when crushed.
In late spring and summer, dense whorls of clustered flowers encompass the stems for about a month. The tiny individual flowers are two lipped and pink, lavender or white with purple spots.
Scads of native pollinators visit the flowers. After the foraging, attractive spherical seed heads form. The seed clusters remain on the plant all winter along with cheerful green basal leaves.
A Short-Lived fast-growing herbaceous perennial with an upright form. It prefers full sun to semi-shade and a loamy, silty soil with a pH 6 to 8. Downy wood mint has some drought tolerance but dislikes waterlogged soils or flooding. It is sensitive to salt, soil compaction. Flowers are fragrant. Soil can contain loam, clay, gravel and limestone. A high pH is tolerated but will restrict growth. It has a greater tolerance to drought than other mint species. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form – tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available.
Edible Uses: Leaves. Minty leaves eaten raw and used in teas. The leaves can be used to prepare sauces and drinks.
Medicinal Uses: Traditionally used by the Cherokee to make a poultice to treat headaches.
A strong scented plant that may act as an aromatic pest confuser reducing their ability to find other nearby crops . The flowers attract long-tongued and short-tongued bees, bee flies, Syrphid flies, butterflies, and skippers (illinoiswildflowers.info). A plant for Forest Gardens, Pollinator Gardens, Prairie or Meadow. Used as Butterfly Nectar Plants or as part of a Groundcover or Mass Planting. Showy Blooms can be used in Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Rock Gardens, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings, Perennial Borders, Restoration Projects and Wildlife Gardens (newmoonnursery.com).
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.