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Monarda citriodoraMonarda citriodora
Lemon Mint
The lemony scent of this wild herb becomes more like oregano as the summer proceeds, so harvest young leaves before blooming to emphasize its lemony side and pick later growth for more savory aromas (the Hopi used lemon mint to flavor rabbit, boiling the herb first). Just remember that as a wild plant, it is way less refined not only in form but in flavor than a domesticated herb. Most mints have tiny flowers, but this native to Central and southern North America has fairly big ones and of a stronger color than those of its wild relatives, which is one of the reasons why many people grow it. It not only looks good in the garden, but it makes nice cut flowers. You can rub the fresh leaves on your skin and put a sprig in your hat to repel bugs while you are out in the garden. The fresh flower petals and chopped leaves can also be added in small amounts to give salads a savory lemony flavor.

Lemon mint's dried leaves and flowers are good for pot pourri. They are often made into a tea for sore throats and become part of medicinal wines and cordials. Try infusing the dried leaves in warm oil as a base for salves or ointments for the skin. This herb repels fleas and mites--itís the source of the essential oil citronellol, but it smells nicer than plain citronella.

Magical Uses
Mints are typically ruled by Venus, but because of the savory aspects of this herbís scent, I think itís appropriate to consider lemon mint a combination of Mars and Venus energies. We can see this, I think, in how a facial steam can be made of its fresh leaves (very Venus) but they also repel biting insects (very Mars). Think about using this herb when you want a subtle form of protection (more Venus-like Martial protection), to work towards sexual union, or for any sort of coming together. This magic herb is also known as lemon beebalm, purple horsemint, plains horsemint, lemon horsemint, horsemint, purple lemon mint, and citron monarda.
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How to Grow Lemon Mint
Barely cover the seeds to germinate in 2 weeks at room temperature. Set transplants 12ď/30cm apart in sun or partial shade. This plant can grow in clay and actually likes it a bit drier than typical mints (like wild mint). Lemon mint flowers throughout the summer (and into the fall if itís watered) and attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. An annual that reseeds when itís happy, lemon mint gets 2-3ft/60-90cm tall and 18-24in/45-60cm wide.  General growing info  Top

  

Monarda citriodora
Lemon Mint
200 seeds $3.50


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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Protection
Union
Mars/Venus Herb

© 2015, 2017 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission