NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Monarda fistulosa

Wild Bergamot

Scientific Name:

Monarda fistulosa



Species Epithet:


Common Name:

Wild Bergamot

Plant Type


Life Cycle


Plant Family

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)


NC Native

Invasive Status:



1-3 ft.

Bloom Color(s):



Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry, Moist

Bloom Time:

June, July, August, September

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

The nominate variety of the species favors fairly high pH soil, in dry to mesic and mostly sunny to only partly shaded habitats. It is most common in meadows, wooded borders, old fields, and openings in dry or upland forests. However, two of the varieties grow inside moist or rich forests. Frequent to common in the mountains; infrequent to locally fairly common in the northern and central Piedmont, but very rare in the southern counties. Seems to have declined considerably in NC over the past 50 years, at least in the Piedmont; as this species prefers meadow habitats, many such habitats have been lost to development, abandonment, and other factors.

Leaf Arrangement:


Leaf Retention:


Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:


Life Cycle:


Wildlife Value:

Highest Wildlife Value

Landscape Value:

Highly Recommended and Available

State Rank:

S4: Apparently secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)


Weakley (2018) lists three varieties of the species in NC: the nominate one -- M. fistulosa var. fistulosa, var. mollis, and var. rubra. Weakley's (2018) range maps indicate that the first two are "common" in the mountains and the Piedmont, with the latter occurring on "Moist wooded slopes" as opposed to meadows and edges for the former. He indicates that var. rubra, also of "Moist slope forests" but "rare" and only in the mountains, is a problematic taxon, confusable with M. media.

Flower buds emerging in early June. Flowers are densely aggregated into head-like clusters

Garden in Orange County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Close-up of flower head being visited ba a Black Swallowtail butterfly

Garden in Orange County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Plant grouping

Garden in Orange County, NC

Bettina Darveaux


USDA PLANTS Database Record

Permalink - (right click to save this page to your bookmarks)


NEXT >>>

back to top
go to plant details search
go to plant images search
go to gallery home
back to Initial m Gallery
back to orchids
back to Carnivorous Plants
back to Trilliums