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Monarda clinopodia

Monarda clinopodia

Monarda clinopodia

Coming this summer!
Regular price $6.48 USD
Regular price Sale price $6.48 USD
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Size

Sun/shade: Full sun to part shade

Soil moisture: Medium to wet

Height: 2-4'

Spread: 1'

Flowering period: July

White bergamot’s exuberant flowerhead has a fun appearance that enlivens the shade garden in midsummer. And the bumble bees sure seem happy to see it! The deep, tubular flowers prevent short tongued pollinators from accessing nectar, leaving extra nectar for the bumble bees, which are long-tongued. Indeed, bumble bees are the plant’s primary pollinators, accounting for the majority of white bergamot’s insect visitors. The plant’s July blooming period is a very busy time for the bees, with males and next year’s queens emerging by the end of the month to commence mating. Nectar from white bergamot and other wildflowers fuels the activities of the adult bees, while pollen is the primary food source for the bee larvae.

In natural situations, white bergamot is primarily a forest species, growing in the dappled sunlight of woodland interiors and edges. In the garden, white bergamot can be planted in soils of average moisture under partial shade or full sun. Like its relatives, wild bergamot and scarlet beebalm, white bergamot spreads via rhizomes to form a colony of plants. Unlike its relatives, however, white bergamot has good resistance to powdery mildew. This makes white bergamot an especially attractive option for shady garden spots, where decreased light availability can cause greater moisture on leaf surfaces and greater fungal growth. To complement white bergamot’s ivory blooms, plant with purple coneflower, scarlet beebalm, and early goldenrod.

Photos by Julie Slater.

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