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Plant description:

This herb spreads fairly rapidly. The aromatic leaves are mid-green and hairy. It bears dense, whorled heads of red or pink flowers in summer. Deadhead to prolong flowering and cut the plant down to ground level in autumn. Divide clumps every third year in spring or autumn. (The flavour in Earl Grey tea comes from the bergamot orange, which grows around the Mediterranean.)

 

Botanical Pronunciation: muh-NAR-duh DID-ih-muh

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Botanical name

Monarda didyma

Plant Care

Size

Categories

Flowers

January February October November December It bears dense, whorled heads of red or pink flowers in summer.

Common name(s)

Bergamot, Bee balm

Origin

Foliage

The aromatic leaves are mid-green and hairy.

Maintenance

Deadhead to prolong flowering and cut the plant down to ground level in autumn.
Divide clumps every third year in spring or autumn.

Soil conditions

The soil should be rich, moist and sandy.

Growth rate

Fast

Uses

The petals of the flower and leaves can be added to salads and various other dishes.
Both the flowers and leaves make a good addition to potpourri.
Medicinal – The leaf can be made into a tea for nausea, flatulence, menstrual pain and insomnia.

Interesting info

The flavour in Earl Grey tea comes from the bergamot orange, which grows around the Mediterranean.
The Indians used it to treat colds and chest problems. It contains the antiseptic thymol. It is an excellent garden plant because it has a lovely flower.

Propagation

Propagate by stem or root cuttings and from seed. Divide clumps every third year in spring or autumn and space them about 600mm apart.

Other languages

Oswegotee (A)

Harvest

Pick the leaves in spring or summer and pick the flowers when they open.

January February October November December
It bears dense, whorled heads of red or pink flowers in summer.

The aromatic leaves are mid-green and hairy.

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