Monarda fistulosaMonarda fistulosa is the Herb Society of America's 2013 Notable Native Herb! We are honored to be the exclusive grower of this versatile native, and are proud to support the Herb Society of America through this wonderful partnership. Read more in our "Try This" section to learn about the Herb Society of America, the Notable Native program and more!
Bergamot, also known as Bee Balm, Wild Oregano or Horse Mint, is an aromatic herb
in the family Lamiaceae, native to North America found in open fields and swampy areas. Blooming into beautiful, tubular violet to pink blooms, this vigorously growing herb resembles a firework explosion when flowering.
Bergamot has a long history of use as a medicinal plant
by many Native Americans, including the Blackfeet. The Blackfeet Indians used this hardy perennial in poultices to treat minor cuts and wounds. A tea made from the plant was also used to treat mouth and throat infections caused by gingivitis, as the plant contains high levels of a naturally occurring antiseptic, Thymol, which is found in many brand name mouthwashes. Traditionally used to ease bloating and digestion because of its carminative properties, as well as to treat headaches and fevers, Bee Balm makes a strong and slightly spicy tea, tasting of mint
A very helpful companion plant, the Thymol contained in the plant's roots keep subterranean pests at bay, while the tubular purple flowers at the top of the plant attract many useful pollinators and predatory insects. This herb is a huge hit with hummingbirds and will make a terrific border to your garden. The flowers and leaves are good ingredients for making potpourri.
Gaining renewed popularity as a culinary herb
, Bee Balm makes a wonderful addition to pizzas, salads, breads and any dishes that are complimented by the herb's unique flavor. Minty and slightly spicy, Bergamot makes a great substitute for Oregano.
The plant's flowers, leaves and stalks are edible and can be dried and added to breads, teas, and used as a savory seasoning for your favorite dish!