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).