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Basil Bee Balm, White Basil-balm, White Bergamot
Monarda clinopodia

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Monarda (mo-NAR-da) (Info)
Species: clinopodia





36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink


Pale Green

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Flowers are good for cutting

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

Jacksonville, Florida

Evansville, Indiana

Kasota, Minnesota

Cole Camp, Missouri

Washington, Missouri

Granville, Ohio

Austin, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 2, 2011, vegiestudent from Jacksonville, FL wrote:

I have bought cuttings of the White Basil from an Asian market, and made smaller cuttings from them, and put them in pots with soil for seedlings. The rate of survival is about 30% now, but I am trying various ways to improve my cultivation.


On Jan 27, 2006, Lamiaceae from Granville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is the most common species of wild Monarda in my area. It's similar to M. fistulosa, but it prefers a wetter, richer habitat (look for it in low woods and along riverbanks) and has no tuft of hairs on the upper lip of the corolla.

The name "White Bergamot" is somewhat misleading; flower color and form actually varies quite a bit. My best clone has large, shell-pink blooms with magenta spotting.

Unfortunately, in ideal conditions this species can become as invasive as Mentha, so I only grow it in my wild garden.


On Dec 4, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Easily grown in ordinary garden soil (it's not to picky about soil types) so long as it is not too dry. Can be grown in full sun but also does well in some shade. It cannot tolerate constantly wet conditions.

The leaves can be used to make tea.