Monarda bradburiana

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: eastern beebalm 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Southern and central United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Pink to white with purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Herb, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Monarda bradburiana, commonly called beebalm, is a common Missouri native perennial which occurs statewide in dryish, acidic soils in open, rocky woods and glade margins. A clump-forming, mint family member that grows typically to 1-2' tall. Tubular, two-lipped, pinkish to whitish, purple-spotted flowers appear in dense, globular, solitary, terminal heads atop square stems. Each flower head is subtended by (rests upon) a whorl of showy, purplish-tinged, 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. Nomenclature for this plant is somewhat confused because some references assert that this separate species is synonymous with Monarda russeliana.

Genus name honors Nicholas Monardes (1493-1588), physician and botanist of Seville.


Powdery mildew can be a significant problem with the monardas, particularly in crowded gardens with poor air circulation. This species has 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 also be used in the perennial border, but probably is best in more informal plantings.