Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Wild Bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Monarda (mo-NAR-da) (Info)
Species: fistulosa (fist-yoo-LOW-suh) (Info)

Synonym:Monarda fistulosa subsp. fistulosa

12 vendors have this plant for sale.

38 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By poppysue
Thumbnail #1 of Monarda fistulosa by poppysue

By poppysue
Thumbnail #2 of Monarda fistulosa by poppysue

By gramoz
Thumbnail #3 of Monarda fistulosa by gramoz

By hemlady
Thumbnail #4 of Monarda fistulosa by hemlady

By Jeff_Beck
Thumbnail #5 of Monarda fistulosa by Jeff_Beck

By Jeff_Beck
Thumbnail #6 of Monarda fistulosa by Jeff_Beck

By thehumblebumble
Thumbnail #7 of Monarda fistulosa by thehumblebumble

There are a total of 31 photos.
Click here to view them all!


8 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive grik On Jul 27, 2011, grik from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

This grows in full sun to light shaded woodlandsin my area. I grow some in my garden as well. It is a beautiful plant but as mentioned previously, powerdery mildew can very greatly from year to year. It definitely suffers from this disease sometimes even though I've heard some people claim that it does not. I suppose there may be more resistant strains.

Positive HummingbirdDude On Dec 12, 2009, HummingbirdDude from Whitehall, PA wrote:

This plant grows wild in a field near my house. It gets to be pretty tall and it smells really good. Also, hummingbirds like it.

Neutral darylmitchell On Jun 10, 2009, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

This plant grows in the wild on the northern plains. I've seen them in fields outside my home city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (zone 3).

Positive JedS On Feb 14, 2009, JedS from Shawnee Mission, KS wrote:

Very nice, reliable and colorful bloomer. Does very well in my heavy clay soil. I trim back the off-shoots each year to keep the plant from expanding. I've had it for four years without experiencing mildew on it yet. Attracts a wide variety of bees, which I enjoy watching among its flowers.

Positive Malus2006 On Feb 12, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Here is another thing to note - the flower heads are often smaller compare to the hybrids
They loves dry prairie location, also seem to like woodland edges. In Minnesota, one of the most common wild beebalm seen.

Positive daisyavenue On Apr 17, 2007, daisyavenue from Long Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This just keeps coming back every year in my herb garden and it is lovely. It does spring a lot of babies but I just pull them and put them elsewhere or give them away.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 15, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I like this plant even though it is prone to powdery mildew. When it gets it, I cut it back and it regrows nicely. If transplanting, it is best to do in spring, as it is not as likely to survive if done in fall. Other names include Horsemint, Mountain Bee Balm, and Wild Bee Balm.

Neutral JodyC On Jan 17, 2005, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

The nectar of the flowers attracts long-tongued bees, bee flies, butterflies, skippers, and hummingbird moths. Among the long-tongued bees, are such visitors as bumblebees, Miner bees, Epeoline Cuckoo bees, and large Leaf-Cutting bees. A small black bee (Doufouria monardae) specializes in the pollination of Monarda flowers. Sometimes Halictid bees collect pollen, while some wasps steal nectar by perforating the nectar tube. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird also visits the flowers. The caterpillars of the moths Sphinx cremitus (Hermit Sphinx) and Agriopedes teratophora (Gray Marvel) feed on the foliage. A seed bug (Ortholomus scolopax) is sometimes found in the flowerheads. Mammalian herbivores usually avoid this plant as a food source, probably because of the oregano-mint flavor of the leaves and their capacity to cause indigestion; they may contain chemicals that disrupt populations of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.

For a member of the mint family, the flowers are large and beautiful. Wild Bergamot can be distinguished from other Monarda spp. by the color of the flowers they are solid pink or lavender. Other species have flowers with red or pale yellow coloration, or they have dark dots on the lower lobes.

Neutral tcfromky On Oct 11, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Indians made a tea from the flower clusters to treat fever and colds, a tea from the leaves was used to treat whooping cough, other coughs and sore throats. Chewed leaves were placed on wounds to stop bleeding and treat insect stings, boiled leaves were applied to pimples. It was widely used by Indians and pioneers alike as a perfume for their bodies, horses, hair and homes.

Positive vagardener On Jul 19, 2004, vagardener from Springfield, VA wrote:

I have mine planted in a sunny border with purple coneflowers and they look great. They attract lots of butterflies and bees.

Neutral Ladyfern On Aug 7, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I really do love the flowers; I like their shape and color better than bee balm's flowers. But the plant is way too tall and floppy and mildewy. It's history in my garden. There's got to be something else out there with lovely lavender flowers that also is attractive as a plant.

Positive smiln32 On May 26, 2003, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I dug some of this up in Northern Alabama and it's just doing wonderfully. The first year I dug it up, I planted it right away, but it didn't bloom until the next year.

Neutral poppysue On Nov 2, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is one of the wild forms of the more common hybrid bee balms. It grows to 4 feet tall with shaggy, whorled, tubular blooms of lavender-purple. This variety is more tolerent dry soils than it's showy cousins. The foliage has a wonderful minty-orange fragrance.

**Update** :o) Well... so much for it being tolerent of dry soils. After the heat of the summer this plant was covered with mildew. In fact you would have thought it was new silver-foliaged cultivar! I haven't decided if I'll give it another chance or toss it. With more moisture it would probably be a gorgeous plant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tuscumbia, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Alameda, California
Hesperia, California
Long Beach, California
Menifee, California
Merced, California
Guyton, Georgia
Itasca, Illinois
Lisle, Illinois
Machesney Park, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Pacific Junction, Iowa
Princeton, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Erie, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Saint Helen, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sturgis, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Kalispell, Montana
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Hampton, New Jersey
Johnsonburg, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Rodeo, New Mexico
Schoharie, New York
Balsam, North Carolina
Lexington, North Carolina
Sylva, North Carolina
Glouster, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Pocola, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Du Bois, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Clarksville, Tennessee
Dickson, Tennessee
Viola, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Belton, Texas
Wichita Falls, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Springfield, Virginia
Falling Waters, West Virginia
Great Cacapon, West Virginia
Appleton, Wisconsin
Westfield, Wisconsin

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America