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Monarda fistulosa ( Wild Bergamot), Sheffield's Seed Co., Inc.
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Monarda fistulosa ( Bee Balm), Sheffield's Seed Co., Inc.
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Monarda fistulosa

Wild Bergamot

In Stock: 0.807 lb (Total:0.807lb)
  • MONARDA fistulosa

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0.81 lb


Germination test:
Seeds per lb:
0.81 lb
Collected in:
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: none required
Stratification: none required
Germination: sow seed 1/16" deep, tamp the soil, lightly mulch the seed bed.

Monarda fistulosa, also known as Wild Bergamot or Bee Balm, is a widespread and abundant wildflower native to North America. This herbaceous perennial grows in large clumps from slender creeping rhizomes, reaching heights of up to 3 ft (0.9 m). It produces lance-shaped, toothed leaves that are 2-3 in (5-8 cm) long. The showy white flowers are compact and solitary, with each cluster containing about 20-50 flowers. Wild bergamot blooms from June to September and thrives in dry fields, thickets, and clearings, especially on limy soil.

One of the notable features of Monarda fistulosa is its fragrance, which is a source of oil of thyme. The entire plant above ground level can be used as a potherb and is rather aromatic. Its leaves can be enjoyed raw or cooked and are often used as a flavoring in salads and cooked foods. The flowers also make an attractive edible garnish in salads. Additionally, the fresh or dried leaves can be brewed into a refreshing aromatic tea.

Apart from its culinary uses, wild bergamot has a long history of medicinal use. Native American tribes, such as the Menominee, Ojibwe, and Winnebago, used this plant to treat a variety of ailments, particularly those related to the digestive system. The leaves and flowering stems of Monarda fistulosa have carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, and stimulant properties. Internally, an infusion of the plant is used to treat colds, catarrh, headaches, gastric disorders, aching kidneys, low fevers, and sore throats. Externally, it can be applied as a poultice for skin eruptions, cuts, and sore eyes. The plant contains essential oils, including bergamot oil and thymol, which have various therapeutic properties.

Monarda fistulosa is a hardy plant that grows well in full sun. Picking the flowers encourages a second round of blooms, making it a great addition to garden ornamentals. It attracts bees with its fragrant blossoms and is known to be a honey plant. This plant is adaptable and can tolerate heavy clay soil, but it cannot grow in shady conditions.

In terms of taxonomy, there are several recognized varieties of Monarda fistulosa with different ranges and aromas. The plant is found from Quebec to the Northwest Territories and British Columbia, south to Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Idaho, and Washington.

Overall, Monarda fistulosa, or Wild Bergamot, is a versatile and attractive plant that can be enjoyed in gardens, used for its culinary properties, and appreciated for its medicinal benefits.

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