Today, I want to talk about dotted horsemint. Why? Because it’s found pretty easily throughout Florida. There’s a small bike path near my parents’ house that has a plethora of horsemint. Horsemint attracts quite the variety of pollinators ranging from bees to wasps. Dotted horsemint is the only herb in the monarda family that is native to Florida. I can appreciate its attractiveness to pollinators and nativity alone.
This herb is VERY aromatic. It can be overwhelming to some. This herb is also very invasive, so if you ever grow it in your garden regular maintenance is a must.
Also, it’s gorgeous. When you research this herb online, many call it rough but it captures my attention aesthetically just as much as many other plants and herbs in the garden. I think it’s prettier than lavender and sunflowers even.
One very interesting property of horsemint is its high content of thymol. Thymol has strong antiseptic properties and also gives horsemint (and thyme) its strong flavor. So used topically as a poultice is great. It can be consumed as a tea. It’s a diaphoretic and can help break a fever. Thymol is created synthetically in lab settings and used in modern medicine. Even in its nonsynthetic, natural form it is quite strong.
In a culinary aspect, the herb is still useful. If I go to the supermarket, I’m not going to find this stuff dried next to many other common culinary herbs and spices, but I easily substitute this herb for thyme and oregano. It doesn’t taste like mint at all. It really is a perfect addition to any savory dish.
Curious about what else we have growing on the farm? Check out this page.