Wild Bergamot – Monarda fistulosa

monarda fistulosa_1WILD BERGAMOT (Monarda fistulosa) belongs to the  Mint family

monarda fistulosa_2Wild Bergamotmonarda fistulosa_0

Wild bergamot, sometimes called Pink Bee-Balm and sometimes Purple Bee-Balm can be  seen growing wild in the area in small beds such as in the above photograph taken on the bank of  Otter Creek Road.  The color ranges from light lilac to a purple-tinged pink, hence the various names. If crimson bee-balm likes moist, shady spots alongside creeks and rivers, its cousin Pink (or Purple) bee-balm prefers sunny wood edges, road slopes, and thickets around our area.  It is a perennial, growing to a height of 2-3 feet.

bee balm and bees 2bee balm and bee

Seen here is a true pink flower version of the Bergamot seen all over the neighboring roads and mountains.  The flowers in the photographs are some growing in our flower beds, much to the delight of the bumblebees.

bee balm and 2 bees

Wild Bergamot is one of those rare native plants which really do have medicinal properties.  American Indians used its leaves for teas and poultices for a variety of ailments.  Physicians used the plant as an antiflatulent and to expel worms.  analysis of Wild Bergamot has revealed organic compounds which have anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and diuretic properties.

For a PDF page, click here: Wild Bergamot

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