Friday, February 25, 2011
Little did I realize that there is a native form of this attractive flower as well - the Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa).
The native plant has lavender flowers instead of the bright red of the cultivated variety. Lavender is more attractive to bees, of course, who can't see red at all.
Wild Bergamot occurs throughout most of North America, and it drives insect pollinators wild. Another name for it (and for a closely related species) is Bee Balm.
This is a hardy plant that flowers from June to September - ideal to plant in pollinator habitats.
[Photo by D. Barr]