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wild bergamot

Monarda fistulosa

Water:
Light:
Habit:
Height:
Bloom color:
Bloom time:
low - high
full sun - part shade
upright
8 - 24"
magenta
spring - summer

Photo credit: 

E. Conrad

The compound flowers attract a large number of pollinators, especially bees
The compound flowers attract a large number of pollinators, especially bees

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

This is a captive stand of bergamot in a well-drained sunny garden
This is a captive stand of bergamot in a well-drained sunny garden

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

A wild stand of bergamot grows along with green needle grass
A wild stand of bergamot grows along with green needle grass

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

The compound flowers attract a large number of pollinators, especially bees
The compound flowers attract a large number of pollinators, especially bees

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

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Wild bergamot (or beebalm) is a garden classic; you've undoubtedly seen many cultivars in nurseries. Our local variety is perfectly equipped to handle Missoula's climate and provide food for a wide array of native insects. The foliage has a spicy mint-like taste and can be made into tea (or just chew a few leaves for instant refreshment). Plant in locations that get at least a half day of sun. Shaded plants (especially ones that don't get watered deeply enough) are prone to powdery mildew. Plant with small-flower penstemon, yarrow, prairie smoke, alumroot, and pussytoes.