Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)


A native plant so popular in gardens that it may as easily be a garden escape as a properly wild plant. This large colony was growing in a hillside clearing in Scott Township where the ground had been recently disturbed; the flowers were blooming in early July.

MONÁRDA L. HORSE MINT. Calyx 15-nerved, usually hairy in the throat. Corolla elongated, with a slightly expanded throat; lips linear or oblong, somewhat equal, the upper erect, entire or slightly notched, the lower spreading, 3-lobed at the apex, its lateral lobes ovate and obtuse, the middle one narrower and slightly notched. Stamens elongated, ascending, inserted in the throat of the corolla. — Odorous erect herbs, with entire or toothed leaves, and large attractive flowers in a few verticels closely surrounded by bracts. (Dedicated to Nicolás Monardes, author of many tracts upon medicinal and other useful plants, especially those of the New World, in the latter half of the 16th century.)

Stamens and style exserted beyond the linear straight acute upper lip of the corolla; heads solitary and terminal or sometimes 2 or 3; leaves acutely more or less serrate; perennials.

Leaves petioled; calyx-teeth scarcely longer than the width of the tube.

++ Glabrous or villous.

Calyx smooth or smoothish in the throat.

M. fistulosa L. (WILD BERGAMOT.) Branches more or less villous or hirsute, 0.5-1.5 m. high; leaves ovate-lanceolate, pubescent especially beneath, the uppermost and outer bracts somewhat colored (whitish or purplish); calyz slightly curved, very hairy in the throat; corolla 2.5-1 cm. long, lilac or pink, the upper lip very hairy. — Dry soil, N. E. to Col. and Tex.; often cultivated and mostly introd. northeastw. Var. Rubra Gray. Stem smooth; corolla bright crimson or rose-red; habit of no. 1, but upper lip of corolla villous-bearded on the back at tip ; throat of calyx with the outer bristly hairs widely spreading. (M. media Willd.)—Me. to Ont. and Tenn.; mostly introd. northw. July, Aug.



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