EASTERN BEE BALM

Monarda bradburiana (*)

Monarda bradburiana flowers produce copious quantities of nectar and attract bumblebees and other long-tongued bees, butterflies, hummingbird moths, beeflies and hummingbirds.  Pollen is harvested by halictid — sweat — bees which cannot reach the nectar and a specialist pollinator is Doufourea monardae, a small black bee.  This is a food plant for a number of important moth caterpillars.  Herbivorous mammals tend to avoid the foliage, perhaps because it has an odor of oregano.

SPECS: Native Name: Algonquin; Genus: Monarda; Species: Bradburiana; Plant Type: Herb; Life Cycle: Perennial; Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun; Soil Moisture: Mesic (middle), Medium Dry; Height: 2′; Spread: 2′; Plant Spacing: 1′ — 2′; Bloom Time: June — July; Bloom Color: Pink, Purple; Advantages: Pollinators; USDA Zone: 3 — 9; Attracts: Beeflies, Butterflies, Caterpillars, Hummingbird moths, Hummingbirds, Long-tongued bees, Moths, Small black bees, Sweat bees; Tolerant: Deer, Shade; Plant Community: Bee Balm pairs nicely with shrubs that prefer drier soils and full sun exposure. Lavender, rosemary, and thyme typically form the backbone of a fully stocked herb garden and look lovely behind lower-growing Bee Balm and its vivid flowers;