Wild BergamotMonarda fistulosa L.
Wild bergamot is a drought tolerant prairie perennial that spreads by seeds and rhizomes. It flowers in the summer. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds all visit this plant for its nectar. Some wasps will even bore right into the nectar tube! In the past and still today, it is used for food and medicinal purposes. The leaves smell like oregano and mint, and can be used to make a fragrant tea.
Canadian Rarity Status:
Not rare. Listed as “may be at risk” in the Northwest Territories.
The branching stems occur in a tight cluster up to 120 cm tall. They are 4-sided, hairy, and covered in lance-shaped opposite leaves. Flowering heads consisting of many flowers occur at the ends of branches. Each flower is divided into a tubular upper lip, and three lower lips that act as insect landing pads. Each head produces up to four small, 3-sided nuts that contain a single seed each.
Seeds and/or plants are typically available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. Wild Bergamot is good for bird, butterfly, woodland, prairie, and meadow gardens. It can be propagated by seeds, seedlings, or cuttings.
- British Columbia
- Northwest Territories
- Fescue Prairie
- Mixed Grass Prairie
- Tall Grass Prairie
- Open Woodlands
- Full Sun
- Andrenid Bees, Miner/Digger Bees (Andrenidae)
- Bee Flies (Bombyliidae)
- Braconid Wasps (Braconidae)
- Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)
- Bumble, Honey, and other Bees (Apidae (Subfamily Apinae))
- Flower Flies (Syrphidae)
- Gossamer-winged Butterflies (Lycaenidae)
- Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)
- Leafcutter and Mason Bees (Megachilidae)
- Milkweed Butterflies (Nymphalidae (Subfamily Danaiinae))
- Root Maggot Flies (Anthomyiidae)
- Skippers (Hesperiidae)
- Soldier Beetles (Cantharidae)
- Sphinx and Hawk Moths (Sphingidae)
- Swallowtail Butterflies (Papilionidae)
- Sweat Bees, Halictid Bees and other Bees (Halictidae)
- Thick-headed Flies (Conopidae)
- Whites, Sulfurs, Orangtips, Marbles (Pieridae)
- Wood-nymphs, Satyrs, and Arctics (Nymphalidae (Subfamily Satyrinae))
- Yellow-faced Bees (Colletidae)
- Yellowjacket, Potter, and other Wasps (Vespidae)