Monarda didyma


Bee Balm, Bergamot

A hardy herbaceous perennial, to 0.9 metres, with attractive red flowers.


Grown both as a herb for harvesting, and an ornamental flowering plant.

It can be harvested for either the essential oil, or as a "hay" crop. The cut leaf market has potential, but the major market is for the oil which is used in creams, perfumes, lotions and soaps.
The leaves are aromatic and when infused with boiling water induces
deep relaxing sleep. It may also be used in potpourri and shredded in salads. There are a number of cultivars with flowers mainly shades of red, pink and violet.
Earl Grey Tea is standard black tea with the addition of this herb.


Prefers part shade in wind protected position; and a moist and very fertile soil to grow well.


Propagate by division, or sometimes seed. When dividing retain outer sections of clumps and discard the centres.


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Attracts bees.

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