Wild Bergamot

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Monarda fistulosa, ½-pint plug

Exposure: Full sun – partial shade

Soil: Medium wet - Dry

Mature Height: 5 feet

Notable Features: Favorite of butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Its species name, fistulosa, refers to the tube-like structure of its blossoms, which appear from July through September. Can be aggressive, not recommended for very small spaces. Seedheads add nice winter interest and have a wonderful smell. If you put this plant in, you're required to go outside over the winter, squeeze a seedhead, and smell it. It's that wonderful.

Attracts: The nectar of the flowers attracts long-tongued bees, bee flies, butterflies, skippers, and hummingbird moths. Among the long-tongued bees, are such visitors as bumblebees, Miner bees, Epeoline Cuckoo bees, and large Leaf-Cutting bees. A small black bee (Dufourea monardae) specializes in the pollination of Monarda flowers. Sometimes Halictid bees collect pollen, while some wasps steal nectar by perforating the nectar tube. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird also visits the flowers. The caterpillars of the moths Sphinx eremitus (Hermit Sphinx) and Agriopodes teratophora (Gray Marvel) feed on the foliage. A seed bug (Ortholomus scolopax) is sometimes found in the flowerheads.