Monarda didyma (Beebalm)



USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 131

Where Commonly Found: Likely introduced to the northeast, most often found in gardens, CT, ME, MA, NH, NY, VT.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Monarda didyma.
Missouri Botanical Garden site for Monarda didyma.
Flower Type:  3″-4″ wide by 1.5″ long, red flowerhead, ovate or lanceolate lower bracts and shorter, more linear upper bracts.  Each flower is a red corrola with 2 lips and a light green to reddish green tubular calyx.  The upper lip is tubular, semi erect with two stamens and a style extending beyond the end.  Flowers occur at the ends of the stems.  Flower time in mid-July to late August.
Leaf Arrangement: 
Opposite along a 4-angled central, somewhat hairy, stem that occasionally branches.
Leaf Type: 
Ovate or ovate-cordate leaves, often tinted purple to red, up to 5″ long by 2″ across, somewhat hairy with serrated margins.
Height:  2′ – 4′
Seed Collection:  Ovoid nutlets form approximately 2 -3 weeks after bloom.  Test if ready by bending over the stem into a bag and tapping.  If ready, brown seeds will release.  Spread on paper to dry for 2 – 3 days, store cool and dry.

Attracts:  Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Birds
Use:  Rain Garden, Naturalizing and Monarch Garden
Light:  Full Sun to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone:  4 to 9  USDA Zone Map
Soils:  Moist to Wet
Flower Color:  Scarlet Red
Notes:  Beebalm provides a great splash of red in the garden, special value to many pollinators.  Does spread aggressively to form a colony, so put where you want a lot of it.
Native to Northeast, Mid-Atlantic eastern Mid-West and Washington State US:  Biota of North American (BONAP) – North America Plant Atlas (NAPA).

 

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