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Monarda bradburiana Plant of Merit

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Kemper Code:  L210

Common Name: eastern beebalm
Zone: 5 to 8
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Missouri Native: Yes
Native Range: Central and southern United States
Height: 1 to 2 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: May   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Pink to white with purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low


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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Best grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates somewhat poor soils and some drought. Plants need good air circulation. Deadhead flowers to prolong summer bloom. Tends to self-seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

This beebalm species is a common Missouri native perennial which occurs statewide in dryish, acidic soils in open, rocky woods and glade margins. A clump-forming, mint family member that grows typically to 1-2' tall. Tubular, two-lipped, pinkish to whitish, purple-spotted flowers appear in dense, globular, solitary, terminal heads atop square stems. Each flower head is subtended by (rests upon) a whorl of showy, purplish-tinged, leafy bracts. Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. The toothed, aromatic, oblong, grayish-green leaves (to 4") may be used in teas. Long summer bloom period. Nomenclature for this plant is somewhat confused because some references assert that this separate species is synonymous with Monarda russeliana.

Problems:

Powdery mildew can be a significant problem with the monardas, particularly in crowded gardens with poor air circulation. This species has mildew resistance, however. Rust can also be a problem.

Uses:

Provides color and contrast for the herb garden, wild garden, native plant garden, meadow or naturalized area. May also be used in the perennial border, but probably is best in more informal plantings.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011


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