Bee Balms got their common names because of their attractiveness to bees. They might as easily have been called hummingbird flowers. Many of the most poplar cutivars are red, with a crown of tubular florets around the flowerhead, a combination humminbirds cannot resist. And neither can gardeners because bee balms are a staple in just about every perennial garden.
Like other mints, bee balm has tubular, two-lipped blooms. whorled atop the stem, the flowers have a raggedly charm, like a red daisy trimmed with pinking shears. You can find natural white forms, and cultivars and hybrids extend bloom colrs into pink, lavender and shades in between. Bee balm grows 2 to 4 feet tall. Bee balm grows naturally along moist stream banks, usually in dappled shade, so it demands rich, moist soil. It does best in zones 4 through 9. Flowering starts in mid summer and continues for two months if you remove spent blooms. Bee balm may self-seed and spreads by underground stems. Clumps die out in the center, so you need to divide it every couple of years. Bee BalmMonarda didyma
- Other names: bee balm, horsemint, oswego tea, and bergamot
- Synonyms: Monarda
- Family: Lamiaceae
- Native to North America
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