Friday, February 25, 2011

Wild Bergamot

I first encountered Bergamot as a kid. They were planted in our gardens at home and I loved to watch when they attracted pollinators. Hummingbirds came to them in the daytime. And at dusk the big sphinx moths could be seen hovering beside the flower heads and tanking up on nectar.

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]

No comments:

Post a Comment


All content copyright (c) Innogenesis Inc. 2010. With the exception of images from the public domain, GNU or Creative Commons licenses, all rights reserved.