Monarda fistulosa – Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa Wild Bergamot, Beebalm (Sf,DM,A,N)

2 – 4 ft H x 2 – 3 ft W. Spider-like lavender blooms in late summer on single flowering stocks. Great plant to bring in wildlife.

  • Blooms:  Late Summer to early fall  (Sf)
  • Moisture: Dry to Medium  (DM)
  • Soil Type: All soil types when local ecotype is available (A) Generally need well drained soil.
  • Range: Native (N)
  • Sun: Full sun to part shade, but needs too air flow around the plant.
  • Needs good air flow.

In my Garden:

Of all the places I planted in the garden, being in a light crowd of grass and echinacea makes them happy. It gets morning sun as well as noon-day sun, spending the hot afternoons in shade. I had worried about its placement as it had not flowered yet. But its currently over 4ft tall!

A very large bumble bee nectaring in the morning cool. 2021, Jenny Burrisno

Originally Planted 5/26/2019 (12)

Propagation methods and availability

Monarda species from seed is widely available. If you can get from a local source, (seed share or nursery) you will have the most pollinators and longevity.

Starting from seed can be done, but watch for damping out.

I purchased a 7 plants from Prairie Nursery and only a single survived transplant from the temporary holding area (my fault, not the quality of the stock). This area is not well drained being a heavy clay, so longevity might be an issue. But its on the drier side. I will take cuttings and post the relative success of the endeavor.

Description

Family: Lamiaceae

Common names include the Beebalm or Wild bergamot is an aromatic
herbaceous perennial with opposite leaves on branched, hairy stems.

The folliage is a gray-green with a sheen of hair lighting both the branches and petioled, toothy leaves.

Spreads by seeds and rhizomes. The opposite leaves are distinctly petioled
and deltoid-lanceolate to lanceolate and slightly
toothed. Beebalm

USDA documents describe the flower structure as follows:

.. the two stamens surpass the
upper lip. The flowers are tubular, 13-15 nerved,
with lobes much shorter than the tube. The corolla is
lavender and strongly bilabiate. The upper lip is
narrow, entire, and softly pubescent while the lower
lip is broader.”

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center, Plant Guide-Monarda fistulosa https://plants.usda.gov/DocumentLibrary/plantguide/pdf/cs_mofi.pdf

Natural Uses: Nectar source for a variety of long-tongued pollinators including hawk moths, bumble-bees, and swallowtail butterflies. Specialized bees: Dufourea monardae, Perdita (Perdita) gerhardi, and Protandrena abdominalis.

Anthropogenic Uses: Contains polyphenols that can be useful as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory when boiled into a tea. Historically its been used by many Indian tribes for pain relief when applied in different forms.

For more information see:

1.) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33995001/

2.) https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/monarda-fistulosa/

A few days before flowering, blossoms look like green lanterns.

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.

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