wild bergamot

(Monarda fistulosa var. fistulosa)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

 

No image available

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

UPL - Obligate upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

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

Flowering

July to September

     
Flower Color

Pale lavender, pale purple, or pink

     
Height

2 to 4

     

Identification

This 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 outward-spreading 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 hairy, at least on the midrib and veins, with long, straight hairs. The leaves have an oregano scent. They attach to the stem on a on 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.

 
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. It has been recorded only in Norman and Clay Counties.

Soft wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa var. mollis) stems have hairs that are curved downward. The lower leaf surface is minutely hairy.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 3, 4, 7.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Lamiaceae (mint)

 

Subfamily:

Nepetoideae

 

Tribe:

Mentheae

 
Parent

wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

 
Synonyms

Monarda fistulosa ssp. fistulosa var. fistulosa

 
Common
Names

wild bergamot


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

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

 

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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