The latest thinking on ecological landscapes. Useful tips to improve our environment

Kim Eierman

Kim Eierman

Founder of EcoBeneficial!

Available for virtual and in-person landscape consulting, talks and classes.

Buy a copy of
The Pollinator Victory Garden!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Flickr_Monarda Fistulosa

Favorite Native Plants: Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)

Here is one of the winning entries to the EcoBeneficial t-shirt competition: “What’s Your Favorite Native Plant and Why”  from winner Kay Davis:

I would have to say bergamot is one of my favorite plants… When in bloom its beauty is stunning, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies not to mention an assortment of various bees.  The blooms are not only attractive but they and the leaves are very fragrant which is another thing I love about this plant.   Just breathing it in makes my day.  I love taking pictures of the bergamot growing in my garden and all the visitors it entertains.  It is a great plant to have if one enjoys microphotography.  Bergamot is a native plant that adds a lot of value both personal and ecological to the garden.”

For those of you who are now convinced that you must have this great plant in your own garden, here is some info about this native perennial:

Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
Sometimes referred to as Bee Balm. Not to be confused with another plant often referred to as Bee Balm:  Monarda didyma (Oswego Tea), which has red flowers in its natural form.

Zones:  3 to 9
Native range:  Most of the US East of the Rockies.
Moist to average soil.
Tolerates drier soil than Monarda didyma (Oswego Tea).
Less susceptible to powdery mildew than Monarda didyma.
Size:  36” to 48” high x 18” to 24” wide.
Blooms in the summer.
Flower color is lavender.
Deer resistant.
Attracts: bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Historic uses:
– Oil from the leaves was used for respiratory ailments.
– Tea was made from the leaves to treat:  colic, colds, cough, fever, stomach ache, sore throat, etc.
– Poultice was made from the leaves to ease headaches.
– Tea made from flowers was used for fevers and colds.

Plant Monarda fistulosa, or other ecologically supportive native plants this spring!  from Kim Eierman at Ecobeneficial!

Photo: Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)

Photo credit: Flickr_gmayfield10

1 Comment

  1. heather sandifer on May 17, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I hadn’t thought of this plant, but maybe now I will. I especially like the aspect of the scented leaves.

More from EcoBlog

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

Easy Native Perennials to Start from Seed: Economical and EcoBeneficial!

Biodiversity is critical to the health of ecosystems but species diversity is crashing and getting worse in the face of climate change.  How can you help?  Skip the clones of native plants (grown from cuttings or tissue culture) and plant native seeds to increase genetic diversity to support our challenged…

Read More

The American Gardener: Book Review of The Pollinator Victory Garden

Book Review from The American Gardener: The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening Kim Eierman, Quarry Books, Beverly, MA. 160 pages. Publisher’s price, paperback: $26.99 Having worked as a garden designer for 15 years, I’m aware of the importance of native plants, but communicating…

Read More

Dwarf Nativars – Do They Measure Up?

For those of us with small landscapes, dwarf cultivars of native plants can seem like a gift from heaven.  Want to grow a particular native plant, but just don’t have the room?  Have a straight species plant, like a native viburnum, that needs a pollinator partner for fruit production –…

Read More