Bee Balm (Monarda sp.) is a member of the Mint Family – a group of aromatic plants that includes basil, lavender, rosemary, salvia and oregano.
How can you identify a Mint? Of course, the smell is a dead giveaway. That odor is actually a deterrent for herbivores. If a mouse eats a bit of mint, that mint scent will overpower the rodent’s sense of smell. So the mouse won’t be able to pick up a cat’s scent later on.
Some beetles have evolved to resist the essential oils of Bee Balm. When they eat the plant, oils condense in the beetles’ poop. They form the poop into a “shield”, waving it at any potential predators.
A poop shield :-D. Surely you jest! Oh, the Google has many examples. I never thought I’d read about a flexible beetle anus!
Beautiful Bee Balm :-).
I can’t make this stuff up! Gotta love biology. Happy reading!
Losing our Plants – RedNewtGallery