- Common Name(s):
- Bee balm, Bee-balm, Crimson bee-balm
- Edible Plants, Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Wildflowers
Native perennial in the Lamiaceae family. It has the characteristic square stems found in the mint family. Dried flowers in crafts; bee-balm is native to the North Carolina mountains and may be seen along the Blue Ridge Parkway flowering in summer. It tolerates wet and clay soil as well as being planted near black walnut trees.
Wildlife Value: Attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Members of the genus Monarda support the following specialized bees: Dufourea monardae, Perdita (Perdita) gerhardi, and Protandrena abdominalis. This plant is resistant to damage by deer and rabbits.
Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Plants are susceptible to powdery mildew, espeically in crowded gardens, but it is usually in the late season after flowering. 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.
- Summer to early fall
- Sun, partial shade
- 2-5 ft.
- 12 to 15 in.
- Flower Color:
- Red, rose, pink, violet, white
- USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9
- Opposite 3-6 in. dark green, coarsely toothed leaves on square stem
- Fragrant ragged cluster of red tubular flowers borne on showy heads; reddish bracts
- Rich, moist, acidic soil; stream banks, thickets, ditches
- Division in spring, cuttings, seed
- full sun to partial shade
- moist soil
- Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
- Eastern North America, North Carolina
- Teas, flavor jellies, soups, stews, and fruit salads; edible flowers.
- Life Cycle:
NCCES plant id: 409