Plant of the Month: Wild Bergamot (Monarda fitsulosa)

Monarda fitsulosa, Wild Bergamot, or Bee-Balm is a stunning pink-purple-flowered plant in the mint family that is widespread across North America. Wild Bergamot attracts a variety of pollinators including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It is a hardy, drought tolerant plant that can grow in nutrient poor soil and can be found in a variety of habitats, including prairies, meadows, open woods, and roadsides.

Wild Bergamot has distinctive tubular flowers arranged in dense, spherical clusters atop long, leafy stems. The flowers can vary in colour; typically they are shades of pink, purple, or lavender. The plant has lance-shaped leaves that are aromatic when crushed. You can often smell a sweet minty smell in the air if you walk by a patch. They can reach a height of 2 to 4 feet and often grow together in clusters due to their spreading nature.

Indigenous tribes have used Wild Bergamot for centuries and continue to use it in traditional medicine. Some tribes use different parts of the plant, including leaves, flowers, and roots, for medicinal purposes, such as treating digestive issues, colds, and sore throats. Additionally, the plant's aromatic leaves are used in teas and potpourris.

Wild Bergamot are a great alternative to cornflowers/bachelor button flowers (Centaurea). They look beautiful and do not have the invasive potential and environmental risk of plants in the Centaurea genus, as Wild Bergamot (Monarda fitsulosa) is native to North America.

purple flower

Posted on July 08, 2023 06:13 PM by jdo77 jdo77

Comments

I just came across this plant of the month feature and I enjoyed reading it (and then went back to read the rest of the project's journal). I just planted a plug of Bee-balm next to a Cornflower in my yard this year and I'm hoping for it to replace it one day.

Posted by mathiasfenton 8 months ago

Hi Mathias, I am happy to hear that you enjoyed reading the journal! I love that you added Bee-balm to your yard!

Posted by jdo77 7 months ago

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