Wild Bergamot, Bee Balm, Lemon Bee Balm
Harvest flowers in full bloom, or harvest the leaves before the plant flowers. Dry them in a well-ventilated and shaded area. Store the dried flowers or leaves in airtight glass containers to prevent mold.
USDA Growing Zone(s): Bergamot grows well in zones 3-8.
Bergamot is a beautiful lavender, pink, or white herb. Native to North America, including California, this flowering plant enjoys full sun to part shade, tolerates shallow rocky soil, clay soil, and is deer-resistant. Although it is somewhat drought tolerant, it prefers to have some moisture in well-drained soil.
It’s a pollinator plant, attracting hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies to its fragrant flowers, which bloom in summer.
Historically, the oil from Monarda fistulosa was used to treat respiratory issues. As an infusion, Monarda has also historically been used to treat a variety of conditions, including colds, flu, diarrhea, nausea, fevers, and more. The leaves were historically used as a poultice to treat sore eyes, muscle spasms, fungal infections, sore eyes, and to slow bleeding.
Stories & Traditions
The common name bergamot is due to the plant’s smell, which is reminiscent of bergamot orange (a completely different plant).
This content is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine.
The two cultivars of Monarda grown by Kindred Herbs are Monarda citriodora, or Lemon Beebalm (above), and Monarda fistulosa, or Sweet or Wild Bergamot (below).