Monarda fistulosa-Wild Bergamot, Horsemint, Bee Balm

Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot) on 7-9-13, #161-5.

Wild Bergamot, Horsemint

Monarda fistulosa

mo-NAR-da fist-yoo-LOW-suh

Monarda fistulosa L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Monarda. It was described by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.

Plants of the World Online by Kew lists five accepted infraspecific names of Monarda fistulosa. The site lists 22 accepted species of Monarda.

Monarda fistulosa is native to most of North America including Canada and most of northern Mexico.


Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot) on 7-9-13, #161-6.

When I moved back to the area in 2013, I noticed this plant growing along the highways and in a few places on the farm. I never noticed it growing anywhere until then, not even when I lived in southern Missouri. Now, I see it almost everywhere.


Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot) on 7-9-13, #161-7.


Family: Lamiaceae
Origin: Native to North America
Zones: USDA Zones 3a-9b (-40 to 25° F)
Size: 24-30” tall
Light: Sun to part shade.
Soil: Dry to medium, well-drained soil.
Water: Average water needs, drought tolerant.
Attracts: Hummingbirds and butterflies.
Tolerates: While many species of Monarda are susceptible to powdery mildew, this species seems to be resistant.


Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)  along the edge of the hayfield on 7-3-17, #354-1.

While many Monarda species, such as Monarda didyma, seem to prefer moist soil along streams, Monarda fistulosa thrives in drier soil. It is found along highways, in pastures and meadows, fence rows, etc. It is a great pollinator plant as it attracts many bees and other pollinating insects. The flowers attract hummingbirds and hummingbird moths. In fact, the first hummingbird moth I ever saw was while taking photos of this plant in 2013.

In 2013 there were just a few plants here and there. As you can see, it has spread quite a bit in 2017 when the above photo was taken.


Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot) on 7-3-17, #354-2.

Monarda fistulosa can be distinguished from other Monarda species by the color of its flowers. The corollas are solid pink or lavender. Other species have flowers with red, purple, or white corollas, or they have dark purple dots on the lower lips of their corollas.


Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot) on 7-3-17, #354-3.

I will add more photos and information about this plant as time goes by.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


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