Monarda – Bergamot or Bee Balm

Monarda, sometimes known as Bergamot or Bee Balm. These are hardy perennial plants which will grow almost anywhere except in deep shade, and provide colour from July until September when many other herbaceous plants are passing out of flower. The species didyma, and its variety ‘Cambridge Scarlet’, grow 2 to 3 ft high and have rather square-shaped stems with pointed lance-like leaves which are rather hairy. The plant is of branching habit, the flowers appearing on heads at the end of each stem. They have long-lasting qualities.

Other species and varieties, all of which produce their flat flowers at the top of the stem, include the dwarf L. haageana, 1 ft, and L. viscaria plena, 2-3 ft, which has semi-double, rosy-carmine flowers. The leaves are fragrant, being sometimes used in salads, while the young foliage is used for making a herb tea. M. fistulosa has lilac-purple flowers, while there is also a white variety, and `Croftway Pink’ is especially good.


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