July 12, 2017

MONTANA : Glacier Wildflowers - Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa

Wild bergamot
Family : Lamiaceae
Genus  : Monarda

Types of pink flowers, Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot), Glacier National Park, Montana


Monarda fistulosa

Monarda fistulosa, the wild bergamot or bee balm, is a wildflower in the mint family (Lamiaceae) widespread and abundant as a native plant in much of North America. This plant, with showy summer-blooming pink to lavender flowers, is often used as a honey plant, medicinal plant, and garden ornamental. The species is quite variable, and several subspecies or varieties have been recognized within it.

Monarda fistulosa is an herbaceous perennial that grows from slender creeping rhizomes, thus commonly occurring in large clumps. The plants are typically up to 3 ft (0.9 m) tall, with a few erect branches. Its leaves are about 2-3 in (5–8 cm) long, lance-shaped, and toothed. Its compact flower clusters are solitary at the ends of branches. Each cluster is about 1.5 in (4 cm) long, containing about 20–50 flowers. Wild bergamot often grows in rich soils in dry fields, thickets, and clearings, usually on limy soil. The plants generally flower from June to September.

Monarda fistulosa ranges from Quebec to the Northwest Territories and British Columbia, south to Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Idaho, and northeastern Washington.

The plant is noted for its fragrance, and is a source of oil of thyme.



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