Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa Lamiaceae

Growth habit

Herbaceous

Perennation

Perennial

Native distribution

Eastern N. America

Cultivation

Dry to moist, but not wet. Adaptable to different soil types.

Propagation

Store seeds dry.
Cold-moist stratify for 60-90days. Germinate at 70 degrees.

Biocultural value

Respiratory ailments and colds are eased with tea or steam made with the flowers and leaves. The fragrant leaves have been used by some Native Americans as a seasoning for meat.

The plants smell like bergamot, a small citrus from southern Europe used to flavor Earl Grey tea, hence the name wild bergamot.

Wildlife value

Important to insects as a nectar plant.

Location

Palmer-Kinne Dogwood Collection, Robison Herb Garden, Mundy Wildflower Garden

Source of plant

Johnny's Selected Seeds, Prairie Nursery, Midwest Wildflowers

Description

Perennial reaching 4' in height, sometimes pubescent above; leaves ovate-lanceolate to broadly ovate, to 4" long, acute to acuminate, weakly serrate to nearly entire, generally pubescent, petioles over 1/4" long; flowers usually solitary, terminal, headlike verticillasters; calyx to 3/8" long, hirsute in the throat, teeth bristly; corolla to 1 1/4" long, bright lavender, pubescent outside; summer blooming.

USDA Hardiness Zone

5

Special characteristics

medicinal/pharmaceutical

Status

L4|S5|G5