Monarda / beebalm
Common Name: Beebalm
Monarda is native to most regions of North America, with the exception of California, where it is found only in isolated areas. As its common name suggests, Monarda species are attractive to a wide variety of bees. All species of Monarda are subject to powdery mildew, which can be minimized with good drainage.
Nationwide, the United States, other than Alaska; southern provinces of Canada
Routinely available and easily grown in most parts of North America
Perennial, annual, biennial, depending upon species
Full sun, partial shade
Average to wet
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) is a widely distributed, native species, found throughout most parts of the U.S., east of the Rockies and southern Canada. It is also a routinely available showy, garden plant, having clusters of lavender, pink or white pom poms. It grows naturally in open fields, woods, wet meadows and ditches and is highly attractive to bumble bees.
Monarda punctata (spotted beebalm) requires less moisture and is attractive to a broader range of bee species. It grows naturally in prairies, plains, meadows, pastures and savannahs, primarily in the east, south and midwestern United States.
Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm) is a popular perennial in gardens, with showy clusters of bright red tubular flowers in the summer that are very attractive to hummingbirds. It requires a moist soil and is susceptible to powdery mildew, though some cultivars, such as Jacob Cline, are mildew resistant. In its natural montane and northeastern habitat, didyma will bloom from late spring through fall.