Monarda fistulosa, Wild Bergamot or Beebalm, is a pleasantly scented member of the mint family growing up to 5 feet tall with rose-purple to lavender flowers. Native Wild Bergamot is a fragrant herbal tea when 3 to 4 dried or fresh leaves are placed in a cup of boiling water with honey. Monarda fistulosa has been used medicinally as a stimulant to remove the pain of colic. Wild Bergamot flowers do best when planted in average to rich soil in the back border of a butterfly garden or a prairie meadow with Liatris (Blazing Star), Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan), Echinacea (Coneflowers), and Little Bluestem grass. Monarda fistulosa wildflowers bloom over a 4 week period from late May to August.
Wild Bergamot seeds are very small and no pretreatment is needed for germination.
Native Wild Bergamot occurs naturally in prairies, open and dry rocky woods, roadsides, and borders of glades from Maine to Saskatchewan, south to Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
The leafy bracts under the flowerheads are often tinted with lavender. White bergamot (Monarda clinopodia) looks similar, but the flowers are very pale, and the bracts tinted with white. Both plants have aromatic leaves.
• Family: Mint (Lamiaceae)
• Habitat: dry fields, thickets, and clearings, usually on limy soil
• Height: 2-3 feet
• Flower size: 1/2 to 3/4 inch long
• Flower color: pink to lavender
• Flowering time: July to August
• Origin: native