Simple or branched perennial to 1 m, the stems glabrous or sparsely hairy; lvs ovate to lance-deltoid, 6-12 cm, acuminate, serrate, obtuse or more often rounded at base, the main ones usually ovate and twice as long as wide; petioles 1-3 cm; heads 1.3-3 cm thick (excluding cors); bracts lanceolate, largely green but often whitish or anthocyanic toward the base; fls fragrant, entomophilous; cal-tube glabrous or minutely puberulent, or villous either outside or inside at the summit, the hairs when present quite unlike those of no. 2 [Monarda fistulosa L.]; cal-lobes glandular; cor white or ochroleucous, 1.5-3 cm, the upper lip slender, nearly straight, glabrous or sparsely puberulent. Woods and thickets; Conn. to O., Ill., and Mo., s. to N.C. and Ala. June, July. Intergrades with no. 2 [Monarda fistulosa L.].
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.