Common Name: wild bergamot
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Native Range: Canada, United States, Mexico
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Pink/lavender
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Suggested Use: Herb, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut, Good Dried
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Black Walnut
Best grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates somewhat poor soils and some drought. Plants need good air circulation. Deadhead flowers to prolong summer bloom. Tends to self-seed.
Monarda fistulosa, commonly called wild bergamot, is a common Missouri native perennial which occurs statewide in dryish soils on prairies, dry rocky woods and glade margins, unplanted fields and along roads and railroads. A clump-forming, mint family member that grows typically to 2-4' tall. Lavender, two-lipped, tubular flowers appear in dense, globular, solitary, terminal heads atop square stems. Each flower head is subtended by (rests upon) a whorl of showy, pinkish, leafy bracts. Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. The toothed, aromatic, oblong, grayish-green leaves (to 4") may be used in teas. Long summer bloom period.
Genus name honors Nicholas Monardes (1493-1588), physician and botanist of Seville.
Specific epithet means hollow like a pipe.
Powdery mildew can be a significant problem with the monardas, particularly in crowded gardens with poor air circulation. This species has good mildew resistance, however. Rust can also be a problem.
Provides color and contrast for the herb garden, wild garden, native plant garden, meadow or naturalized area. May be used in the perennial border, but is simply a less colorful selection than the similar-in-appearance Monarda didyma and its many cultivars (the beebalms).