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Wild Bergamot

Scientific name: Monarda fistula

This native perennial wildflower is a member of the mint family. It grows in fragrant clumps, up to 3 feet tall. The flowers are generally a rose purple, atop many small leaves. Its stems are square and the leaves have small teeth. It has toothed, aromatic, oblong, grayish-green leaves (to 4 inches). The flowers have a tubular shape, giving it its Latin name, as fistula means tubular.




Grayish-green, oblong.


Showy, tubular, two-lipped, pinkish to whitish, purple-spotted flowers appear in dense, globular, solitary heads atop square stems.

Blooming Season

Blooms start in May and continue throughout the summer.

Fun Facts

Leaves may be used in teas.


This plant is happy in dry and well drained settings, such as fields, and borders of woods, glades and roadsides. It does well in gardens where there is good air circulation and drainage, as it is susceptible to mildew.

Life Cycle

Long summer bloom period.

Similar Species

Monarda didyma, or bee balm, has red flowers and is native to the U.S.

Ecosystem Connections

Attracts hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies and other pollinators. Tolerates deer and drought. The chemicals in the leaves make mammals sick!

Human Connections

Historically, this plant has had culinary and medicinal uses.

How You Can Help

Plant in your garden to attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies and add some bright color.

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