The Grower's Exchange, a family-run farm in Virginia specializing in unusual and hard-to-find herbs, has chosen Bee Balm
as the 2013 Notable Native Herb. If you're not familiar with the herb, it's actually gaining popularity as a culinary herb and makes a great substitute for oregano. (Bee balm pizza, anyone?)
The defining characteristic for the Notable Native award, as we learned from their press release, "is the herb's usefulness, including its value for culinary, medicinal, ornamental, economic, industrial, or cosmetic purposes." Bee balm (also known as Bergamot) also makes a great tea and a surprisingly excellent mouthwash, but the culinary uses are becoming the most popular: it's apparently "a wonderful addition to pizzas, salads, breads and any dishes that are complimented by the herb's minty, slightly spicy flavor."
Read More: Bergamot (Bee Balm) at The Grower's Exchange
(Image: The Grower's Exchange)