Wild Bergamot – Monarda fistulosa
Wild Bergamot has beautiful pink lilac puff ball blooms amassed atop 2-4 foot stems. The plant is fragrant, especially the leaves when rubbed or crushed slightly. It blooms from June to September when planted in full to part-sun and in well-drained to dry soil. A wide variety of pollinators visit these blooms in high numbers for nectar, including hummingbirds and the hummingbird moth (the puff ball flowers have tubular parts). The leaves and stems are susceptible to powdery mildew if not placed in a well circulated area. It doesn’t seem to bother the plant’s health if it occurs, or diminish the blooms at all. In the absence of powdery mildew, the leaves can be used for tea. The colonists used this plant and its cousin, Bee-Balm, as a substitute for tea when we dumped the English tea in Boston Harbor. The plant is named for Spanish botanist Nicolás Monardes, who wrote a book in 1574 describing plants of the New World.
Use and Care:
- Light: Full to Part Sun
- Soil: Well-Drained Average to Poor and Dry
- Height/Spread: 2-4 feet High and Wide
- Deer Resistant
- Attracts: Native Bees and Hummingbirds