Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Monarda didyma (Bee Balm) is a wonderful addition to any garden planting that gets some shade or in an area where the soil stays consistently moist. This plant is touted for attracting hummingbirds and is pollinated by bees. This perennial plant spreads by rhizomes in the soil and can take over a large portion of your garden. I like to intermix it with other more aggressive plants, and let them duke out the soil space.
The leaves and young shoots are touted as edible, but eating plants out of my garden is typically not my cup of tea, so don't do it because I told you to! Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamort) is a closely related relative that is a light purple shade as opposed to M. didyma's reddish pink. The Monarda's are definitely plants that should be described by their Latin name as some call M. didyma Bergamort and M. fistulosa Beebalm. Just another lesson in why learning the Latin, though obtrusive at times, especially when they keep changing species, genus, and families, is important in making sure that everyone is discussing the same plant!
I'll leave you with a picture from my garden!
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