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Monarda fistulosa

Common Name(s):
Wild bergamot
Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Wildflowers

Monarda fistulosa, commonly called wild bergamot, is a native perennial that occurs in dryish soils on prairies, dry rocky woods and glade margins, unplanted fields and along roads and railroads. It is a clump-forming, mint family member that grows typically to 2-4' tall.   

Provides color and contrast for the herb garden, wild garden, native plant garden, meadow or naturalized area. May be used in the perennial border, but is simply a less colorful selection than the similar-in-appearance Monarda didyma and its many cultivars (the beebalms). Of note, this plant is tolerant of black walnut.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal plains

Seasons of Interest:

     Blooms:  Summer/Late Summer                  Nut/Fruit/Seed: Late Summer/Fall 

Wildlife Value: Attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Ruby-throated hummingbirds and butterflies nectar from the blooms. Members of the genus Monarda support the following specialized bees: Dufourea monardaePerdita (Perdita) gerhardiand Protandrena abdominalisThis plant is resistant to damage by deer and rabbits.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Powdery mildew can be a problem with all Monarda spp. especially in crowded conditions with poor airflow but this particular species shows resistance. Prune stems to increase air flow.  Severe cases may require fungicidal sprays. In addition, if the soil is allowed to dry out, the stressed plants become increasingly susceptible to disease. Rust can also be a problem.


2-4 feet
Flower Color:
lavender, light pink
USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9
The toothed, opposite, aromatic, oblong, grayish-green leaves (to 4") of the Wild bergamot may be used in teas.
Wild bergamot features two-lipped, tubular flowers that appear in dense, globular, solitary, terminal heads atop square stems. Each flower head is subtended by (rests upon) a whorl of showy, pinkish, leafy bracts. The flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. This plant has a long summer bloom period.
Herbaceous perennial
Wild bergamot is best grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. It tolerates somewhat poor soils and some drought. Plants need good air circulation. Deadhead flowers to prolong summer bloom. Tends to self-seed.
full sun, partial shade
dry, rocky
United States, Canada, Mexico
summer blooming, bees, nectar, pollinator, hummingbirds, black walnut, lavender blooms, cut flowers, deer resistant, showy, rabbits, butterflies, clay soil, specialized bees, wildlife plant, pink flowers, lavender flowers, rain garden, fragrant flowers, cut flower, dry soil, full sun

NCCES plant id: 2856

Monarda fistulosa, Wild Bergamont Monarda fistulosa, Wild Bergamont
Joshua Mayer, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Monarda fistulosa, Wild Bergamont Monarda fistulosa, Wild Bergamont
Joshua Mayer, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Monarda fistulosa Monarda fistulosa plant
Dan Mullen, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Monarda fistulosa Monarda fistulosa foliage
Bill Barber, CC BY-NC-2.0
Monarda fistulosa Monarda fistulosa bloom detail
Debbie Roos