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Monarda didyma

Family: Lamiaceae

Common names: BEE BALM, BEEBALM, BERGAMOT, HORSEMINT, OSWEGO TEA, WILD BERGAMOT

Native to: Canada, United States

Plant

Type: perennial

Forms: clumping, erect, open form

Leaves deciduous

Max height: 4 feet

Max width: 3 feet

Flower

red

Leaf

green

Horticulture

Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, bee, bird, hummingbird, specific butterfly species

Plant part consumed by birds: nectar

Plant features: deciduous

Exposure: light shade, sun

Landscape uses: container, deer resistant

Propagates by: seed

flowers in fall

flowers in summer

Soil type: well drained

USDA Zones: zone 4 -30 f, zone 5 to -20 f, zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: -30 to +30 °F

Water: moist, regular

  • Monarda didyma 2 2
  • Monarda didyma 2
  • Monarda didyma 3
  • Monarda didyma 4
  • Monarda didyma 5 2
  • Monarda didyma 5

There are 31 species of Monarda, a member of the Lamiaceae family, also called BEEBALM, BERGAMOT, or HORSEMINT. Monarda didyma is in cultivation; it grows to 4 feet tall in Zones 4-9 and flowers in summer and fall. Other species – Monarda citriodora (a reseeding annual to 3 feet tall), M. fistulosa (to 3 feet tall), and M. media (a 3 foot tall naturalizing plant) – may be robust and attractive to wildlife; they flower in summer. Monarda prefers regular or moist watering. Bees, birds, and hummingbirds will also come to these plants for nectar.

Monarda attracts Neophasia menapia, PINE WHITE.
in addition, Monarda didyma attracts Battus philenor, PIPEVINE SWALLOWTAIL, and Speyeria cybele, GREAT SPANGLED FRITILLARY.

Battus philenor 3
Speyeria cybele great spangled fritillary   2
Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

You are free to use any of the above filters to reduce the plant list further.