Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bee Balm

Monarda

Very attractive summer blooming perennial flowers. Most are hardy from zones 3 to 8 and thrive in full sun ( tolerates partial shade ) on just about any fertile, moist, well drained soil that is high in organic matter though tolerant of most soil. Plants should be cut back to 6 inches in height during late summer ( do not cut back further as remains of old stems will protect new shoots from trampling during early spring ). Many cultivars can eventually spread up to 6 feet due to they're rhizomatous habit. They can sometimes become invasive though are usually well behaved. They should however be divided every 2 or 3 years during early spring thus maintaining vigor plus increasing your stock of these amazing plants. Clumps that are not divided will often thin out in the middle after a few years. Monarda can also be grown from cuttings taken during early to mid summer.
Powdery mildew can become a serious fungal pest ruining the foliage and defoliating the plants in the summer, especially plants under lack of water stress. The best solution to powdery mildew is using the cultivars listed below that are resistant. Many of these resistant cultivars will remain luxuriantly foliaged all summer long and do not require any fungicide.
The Monarda's attract butterflies and hummingbirds and you can extend the bloom season by removing finished blooms. The flowers are often up to 4 inches across. The leaves have a minty fragrance.
Monarda's are generally not eaten by deer however there are edible to us humans. The young leaves can and sometimes are added to salads. Monarda contains a compound called carminative, which taken internally is a mild sedative.

* photos of unknown internet source



Monarda bradburiana ( Eastern Bee Balm )
A rare but very attractive, deciduous, clumping perennial, reaching up to 2 x 4 feet, that is native from Iowa and south into Texas but mostly in the Ozarks.
The ovate leaves are reddish at first, turning to luxuriant glossy blue-green to mid-green.
The light pink flowers, up to 3 inches wide, are borne at the stem tips during late spring ( earlier than most other Bee Balm ).
The flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.
The seed heads that persist long after the flowers are very attractive.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun on moist, well drained soil. It is very heat and humidity tolerant.
The menthol fragranced foliage is highly mildew resistant.

Monarda 'Bubblegum Blast'
A non-running, dense, clumping perennial, reaching up to 2 x 3 feet.
The glossy, very deep green foliage is highly mildew resistant.
The very abundant, bright pink flowers are borne early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 8, it is highly tolerant of heat and humidity.

Monarda 'Dark Ponticum'
Compact and upright in habit, reaching up to 4 x 3 feet, with attractive, aromatic, deep green foliage and intense violet-purple flowers during mid summer. The stems are deep purple.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun. Mildew resistant.

Monarda didyma ( Sweet Bergamot )
Also called Oswego Tea. A perennial reaching up to 4 or rarely 6.6 x 6 feet that is native to moist woods and bottomlands in eastern North America ( from Michigans Upper Peninsula to Sauble Beach, Ontario to Haliburton, Ontario to southeast Quebec to New Brunswick & Maine, south to central Tennessee & far northern Georgia to central South Carolina ). It is endangered in Michigan, South Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey. It is declining rapidly in southern Ontario and is no longer found in the wild in Bruce County and is only found sporadically across the southern Peninsula. In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was abundant around Windsor during the 1800s.
The hairy, toothed, mint-like, ovate leaves are up to 6 x 3 inches and the stems are sharply angled. The foliage is deep green.
The scarlet-red flowers up to 2 inches across, are borne from June to August.
The flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 ( even thriving in much of the northern Great Plains ) and is flood tolerant though does not grow in permanent swamps. Prefers full sun to partial shade.
Very heat and humidity tolerant though it is suggested that cultivars resistant to mildew are used. On ideal sites it can be very aggressive, spreading by rhizomes into large clumps.
Propagation is from basal cuttings or division while dormant.

* photo taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

* photos taken on June 20 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Aquarius'
Reaches up to 4.5 feet with mildew resistant foliage. Light pink flowers are borne in June and July.

'Balmy Pink'
Vigorous but compact in habit, reaching only 1 x 1 foot.
The luxuriant foliage is very deep green.
The flowers are intense hot pink.
Hardy zones 4 to 9. It is highly mildew resistant.

* photo taken on May 20 2017 in Pikesville, MD


'Balmy Purple'
Vigorous but compact in habit, reaching only 1 x 1 foot.
The luxuriant foliage is deep green.
The flowers are bright purple.
Hardy zones 4 to 9. It is highly mildew resistant.

* photo taken on May 20 2017 in Pikesville, MD


'Beauty of Cobham'
Reaches up to 50 inches in height, with purplish foliage and lilac-pink flowers.

* photos taken on Aug 2 2013 in Stratford, Ontario


'Blue Stocking'
Reaches up to 5 x 44 feet with abundant, intense light purple flowers all summer long.
The attractive blue-green foliage is mildew resistant.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery


'Bryan Thompson'
Reaches up to 4 x 4 feet, with pure white flowers, up to 2 inches wide.
The bright green foliage is mildew resistant.

'Cambridge Scarlet'
Reaches up to 5 feet in height and clumps spread up to 1 foot a year in each direction. The abundant, large, scarlet red flowers, up to 3.5 inches wide, are borne all summer long.

* photo taken on July 13 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 9 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 1 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Colrain Red'
Reaches up to 4 x 4 + ( in first year ) feet withabundant, striking deep red flowers, up to 3.5 inches wide, borne early to mid summer. The foliage is moderately mildew resistant.

'Coral Reef'
Very vigorous, reaching up to 4 x 4 feet with very large, bright salmon-pink flowers, up to 3 inches wide, during mid-summer. The deep green foliage is mildew resistant.

* photo taken on July 10 2013 in Howard Co., MD


'Cranberry Lace'
Compact in habit, reaching up to 16 x 33 inches in size, bearing very abundant, deep reddish-purple flowers, up to 2.5 inches wide, during mid-summer.

'Croftway Pink'
Reaches up to 4 feet with intense hot pink flowers all summer long.

'Fireball'
Compact but spreading in habit, reaching a maximum size of 4 x 3 ( rarely over 2 ) feet in size.
The mildew resistant foliage is luxuriant mid-green.
The red-purple flowers, up to 3 inches wide, are borne over a long season.

* photo taken on June 15 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Gardenview Scarlet'
Reaches up to 5 feet in height and clumps spread rapidly up to 6 feet in width.
The foliage is mildew resistant and intense rose-red flowers, up to 3.5 inches wide, are borne all summer long.

'Grand Marshall'
Compact and dense, reaching up to 3 ( rarely over 2 ) feet in height.
The foliage is very mildew resistant.
The abundant flowers are intense fuchsia-pink, borne mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8; it originated from the harsh climate of the province of Manitoba in Canada.

'Grand Parade'
A compact, miniature form, reaching a maximum size of 1.7 x 2.5 feet. It is great for containers as well as attracting butterflies to the smaller garden.
The luxuriant mid-green foliage is very mildew resistant.
The very abundant, purplish-pink flowers, up to 2.5 inches wide, are borne mid-summer into early autumn. A single plant may bear up to 100 flowers at a time.


* photo taken on June 10 2013 in Howard Co., MD


'Jacob Cline'
Grows vigorously, even reaching as much as 6 x 6 ( rarely over 4 ) feet. It's minty fragranced foliage is luxuriant, deep green and totally free of mildew and it bears huge, deep red, globe shaped flowers up to 4 inches across in mid summer. It looks awesome with the larger growing Shasta Daisies.
Prefers to be divided while dormant every 3 years.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on July 1 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Mahogany'
Reaches up to 4 x 5 feet with deep green foliage and wine red flowers, up to 2.5 inches wide.

'Marshall's Delight'
Reaches up to 4 x 4 feet with strong stems and mildew resistant, bright green foliage.
It blooms abundantly with round, ball shaped, hot pink flowers, up to 2.5 inches wide, over a very long season.
A hybrid between 'Cambridge Scarlet' & Monarda fistulosa, that was developed in Morden, Manitoba.

* photo taken on Aug 2 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

* photos taken on June 21 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Pardon My Purple'
Compact in habit, reaching up to 1 x 1.3 foot, with abundant intense reddish-purple flowers during mid-summer.
The foliage is very mildew resistant.

* photo taken on July 1 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Petite Delight'
A dense, compact, clump forming cultivar, reaching up to 2.5 x 2 feet. It's highly mildew resistant foliage is crinkly and glossy deep green.
The fragrant, lavender-pink flowers, up to 2.5 inches wide, are borne in July and August.

* photo taken on June 24 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 4 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 31 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Petite Wonder'
A dense, compact, clump forming cultivar, reaching up to 2 x 2 feet. It's highly mildew resistant foliage is crinkly and glossy deep green.
The clear pink flowers up to 2.5 inches wide are borne in mid summer.

'Pink Lace'
Compact in habit, reaching a maximum size of 1.8 x 2.5 feet, with deep red stems bearing bright green foliage.
The very abundant bright pink ( with a deep purple cone ) flowers, up to 2 inches wide, are borne mid-summer into early autumn.
It is very mildew resistant.

'Prairie Night'
Reaches up to 4 feet with deep purplish-lilac flowers.

'Raspberry Wine'
Very vigorous, reaching up to 6 x 7 ( rarely over 4 ) feet with very mildew resistant, attractive foliage. Plants may reach as much as 4 feet in height during the second year.
It bears intense, wine-red colored flowers, up to 3 inches wide, during mid summer, repeating early to mid autumn if deadheaded.

* photos taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA

* photo taken on August 2 2010 in Bayfield, Ontario

* photo taken on Aug 2 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

* photos taken on Aug 15 2014 at Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, MD


'Scorpion'
Reaches up to 4.7 ( rarely over 4 ) feet with mildew resistant, red-tinted foliage and purplish-pink to red flowers, up to 2.5 inches wide, in early summer, often repeating during early autumn if deadheaded.

* photo taken on Aug 2 2013 in Stratford, Ontario


'Snow White'
Reaches up to 4.5 x 4 feet with very showy, pure white flowers borne early to mid summer.
Moderately resistant to mildew.

'Squaw'
Similar to 'Cambridge Scarlet' but somewhat less mildew prone.

'Twins'
Reaches up to 4 feet with mildew resistant foliage and deep pink flowers in June and July.

'Vintage Wine'
Reaches up to 27 inches in height, with deep purplish-red flowers.

Monarda fistulosa ( Wild Bergamot )
A rhizomatous, clumping perennial reaching up to 4 or rarely 6 x 4 feet that is native to dry open woods of much of North America ( from Mackenzie, British Columbia to Dawson Creek, B.C. to Edmonton, Alberta to Winnipeg, Manitoba to Kenora, Ontario to Sault Ste Marie to Tobermory, Ontario to Haliburton, Ontario to southern Quebec & Maine; south to northwest Nevada to New Mexico to east Texas to northern Georgia to North Carolina ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was uncommon at Point Pelee, the Lake Erie islands, the Ohio shore as well as at Detroit during the 1800s.
The aromatic, toothed, elliptical leaves, to 7 inches in length, are glossy green.
The light pink flowers, up to 2.3 inches across, are borne from June to September. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 ( even thriving in much of the northern Great Plains ) in full sun to partial shade. It is more resistant to mildew than Monarda didyma.

* photo taken on July 3 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 10 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 2 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

* photos taken on July 1 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Claire Grace'
Vigorous, reaching up to 6 x 5 feet with very mildew resistant foliage and soft lavender flowers up to 3 inches wide.
Thrives in both the north and the Deep South.

* photos taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA








'Kardinal'
Reaches up to 3 feet with red flowers.

'Violet Queen'
Vigorous growing, reaching up to 4.5 x 6 feet with showy, deep purple blue flowers all summer long. Foliage is mildew resistant.

'Wichita Mountains Form'
A very heat ( and moderately drought ) tolerant form, reaching up to 3 feet in height, that originated from the Wichita Mountains and is marketed by High Country Gardens. The attractive, aromatic foliage is glossy green and the flowers are lavender-pink.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

Monarda 'Peter's Purple'
A vigorous, sturdy, clumping perennial, reaching up to 5 x 2 feet, that is the hybrid between Monarda bartlettii & M. fistulosa 'Claire Grace'. It is not invasive.
The luxuriant deep green foliage is entirely mildew resistant.
The showy, lavender-purple flowers are borne over a 2 month period from early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 10 in full sun to partial shade. It is very heat/humid and drought tolerant for a Bee Balm.

Monarda punctata ( Spotted Bee-Balm )
A biennial or perennial with a semi-woody base, reaching up to 4 x 4.2 feet that is native to dry or sandy acid woods in eastern U.S. ( from Minnesota to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to southeast Quebec & Vermont; south to Arizona to Texas to northern Florida ). It is extinct in Kentucky; endangered in Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio, Ontario and Pennsylvania.
It has toothed, lance-shaped to narrow-oblong leaves are up to 4 inches in length.
The very abundant, pink flowers, up to 1 x 2 inches in size, are borne mid-summer to early autumn.
Hardy zones 3 to 9. Moderately salt tolerant and highly mildew resistant.

* photo taken on Aug 4 2011 in Howard Co, MD

* photos taken Aug 2016 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD

* photos taken on Sep 16 2016 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD

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