soft wild bergamot

(Monarda fistulosa var. mollis)

Conservation Status
soft wild bergamot
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

UPL - Obligate upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Soft wild bergamot is a 2 to 4 tall, erect perennial that rises in a tight cluster of multiple stems from slender, creeping rhizomes. It often forms large clumps.

The stems are square, leafy, and hairy near the top with downward-curved hairs. They branch frequently in the upper half. The branches are paired and are more or less equal.

The leaves are opposite, 2 to 3 long, lance-shaped with a rounded base, and toothed. The blade gradually tapers to a sharp point with more or less concave sides near the tip. The upper surface is hairless or sparsely hairy. The lower surface is minutely hairy, at least on the midrib and veins. The leaves have an oregano scent. They attach to the stem on a purple, hairy, leaf stalk. The leaf stalk is over long at the shortest, and is commonly over long.

The inflorescence is a solitary, head-like cluster of 20 to 50 flowers at the end of major stems and some branches. Bracts below the flower head are whorled, lance-shaped, green to whitish, and bend downward at their tips.

The flower head, including the flowers, is 1 to 3 in diameter and rounded. The disk is to 1 wide. The flowers are fragrant.

The individual flowers are ½ to 1¼ long. They have 5 pale lavender, pale purple, or pink petals that are fused along half of their length into a floral tube. The tube separates into two lobes, an upper and lower lip. The upper lip folds around the stamens and style. It is erect, hairy, becoming curved with age, and has longer hairs at the tip. The lower lip is broad with a linear lobe at the end. The linear lobe is notched at the tip.

The fruit is 4 smooth, brown to black nutlets.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

2 to 4

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Pale lavender, pale purple, or pink

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Mint-leaved bergamot (Monarda fistulosa var. menthifolia) is a western variety. It is shorter and less branched. The longest leaf stalk is less than long. It often has just a single flower head.

Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa var. fistulosa) stems have hairs that spread outward rather than curve downward. The lower leaf surface has long, straight hairs.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry, moderate moisture, or wet. Prairies, fields, upland woods, thickets. Full to partial sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to September

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7

 
  9/2/2012      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Lamiales (mints, plantains, olives, and allies)  
 

Family

Lamiaceae (mint)  
  Subfamily Nepetoideae  
  Tribe Mentheae  
 

Subtribe

Menthinae  
  Genus Monarda (beebalms and bergamots)  
  Species Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Monarda fistulosa ssp. fistulosa var. mollis

Monarda mollis

Monarda scabra

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

soft wild bergamot

wild bergamot

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

       
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Inflorescence

  soft wild bergamot   soft wild bergamot
       

Flower Head

  soft wild bergamot   soft wild bergamot
       

Leaves

  soft wild bergamot   soft wild bergamot
       
  soft wild bergamot   soft wild bergamot
       
       

 

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