Native Bergamot Bee Balm (Monarda)
Native Bergamot Bee Balm (Monarda)
Native Bergamot Bee Balm (Monarda)
Native Bergamot Bee Balm (Monarda)
Native Bergamot Bee Balm (Monarda)
Native Bergamot Bee Balm (Monarda)
Native Bergamot Bee Balm (Monarda)
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Native Bergamot Bee Balm (Monarda)

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The wild bergamot is very similar to bee balm but instead of a deep red coloration it boasts of lavender, pinkish blooms. This monarda species is highly functional in the garden because it attracts a wide range of large butterflies, bees and the zippy ruby-throated hummingbird considers it a favorite feeding station. The bergamot blooms for the summer and will stretch into early fall. This species is deer resistant.


Wild bergamot, known by many other common names, is a popular and showy perennial. Clusters of lavender, pink or white flowers, looking like ragged pompoms, bloom atop 2-5 ft., open-branched stems.

This showy perennial, frequently cultivated, has aromatic leaves used to make mint tea. Oil from the leaves was formerly used to treat respiratory ailments. The leaves smell minty.

Linnaeus named the genus Monarda in honor of a 16th century Spanish physician and botanist, Nicolas Bautista Monardes (1493-1588). Monardes never went to the Americas but was able to study medicinal plants in Spain because Spain controlled navigation and commerce from the New World.

fistulosa means tubular.

Height : 2-4 feet (60-120 cm)

Spread : 2-3 feet (60-90 cm)

Blooming Period : July to September

Light : Full to partial sun

Water : Dry to medium

Soil : Sand, loam, clay

Zone : 3-9

Native Ontario Habitat : Prairies, rocky woods and corridors

Landscape Uses : Butterfly gardens, pollinator gardens, hummingbird garden, herb garden, perennial borders and naturalized areas.