Rebekah Garris Collection:

Native and Introduced Wildflowers of Sussex County, New Jersey

Monarda fistulosa

Wild Bergamot, or Bee Balm (Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee)) produces lavender flowers from midsummer to early fall.

Perennial plants grow to a height of one to three feet (sometimes five feet) and are excellent attractants for a number of butterfly species as well as bees and hummingbirds. Larva of the Hermit Sphinx, Sphinx eremitus, feed on foliage.

Hardy from Zones 3A to 9B, this plant likes full sun, but also tolerates partial shade.

It will grow in mildly acidic (6.1 to 6.5) to mildly alkaline (7.6 to 7.8) dry soils.

It can be propagated by seed or root ball division. The seeds are very small and no pretreatment is needed for germination. It is usually best to thin plants to two feet apart.

High in Vitamins A and C, the leaves can be used in salads or dried for tea (3-4 leaves fresh or dried in boiling water) with a little honey.

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This page is presented by Bill Oehlke and the WLSS.

This site is presented as an extension of Caterpillars Too!, a private North American butterfly site featuring images of U.S. and Canadian butterflies and their caterpillars. The individual butterfly species files are linked to favourite nectar sources.