Monarda didyma L.

Bee Balm, Bergamot, Mountain Mint, Oswego Tea

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus: Monarda

Category: Perennial

Zones: 4 to 9

Size: 2 to 4'

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Bright red terminal flowers in summer and square stems. Leaves have a minty smell. Susceptible to powdery mildew. Attractive to butterflies. Rabbit resistant.



John Bartram collected seeds near Oswego on the shore of Lake Ontario in 1743. The plant had been known in England since the early 1600's but had been lost. Bartram sent some seeds to Peter Collinson who reestablished it in his garden. It flowered in 1845. (Berkeley).

Published in Sp. Pl. 1: 22 in 1753.

Native to the eastern US.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner