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Monarda fistulosum, known commonly as Wild Bergamot, is a summer-blooming meadow perennial with a light pink whorl of flowers atop tall, slender stems with bright silvery green leaves. Growing up to 2-4', Monarda fistulosum spreads quickly via rhizome with a tendency to outcompete other perennials in smaller settings. Monarda fisulosum grows in full sun to partial shade habitats and prefers moist soils. They are somewhat drought tolerant, through thrive best in moist areas, like wet meadows or any spacious pollinator garden. They are known to attract many butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, and some specialized bee species.
As a member of the Lamiaceae (Mint) family, a notoriously aggressive bunch, it’s no surprise that Monarda fistulosa is a spreading, clump-forming colonizer of meadow habitats. This meadow perennial blooms July through August, with a magnificent array of flowers. The arrays are made up of many pink to light purple flowers wrapping around one flowerhead. Their petals are formed into corolla’s, which have a tubular upper lip from with stamens protrude and three slender lower lips which act as landing pads for pollinating insects. Monarda fistulosa takes time to develop their rhizomatous root systems. Usually, by a meadow’s third or fourth year Monarda will begin to become noticeable in patches, then eventually, large clumps. Monarda attracts everything from hummingbirds, bees, moths, and butterflies. Mammals avoid this plant due to the strong oregano-mint flavor, so pressure from deer and rabbit browse is lessened. It’s long been recognized for its antiseptic properties, used to cure colds, fevers, and respiratory issues.