Wild Bergamot

Ojibway: Sasapkwanins
Latin: Monarda fistulosa L.

Wild-Bergamot-1

Common Names
  • Wild bergamot
  • Wild horsemint
Description

Herbaceous perennial, fragrant leaves, rose-purple to lavender, two-lipped, tubular flowers.

Flowers

4 cm (1.5 in.) long; July to August. The flowers are very attractive to bees and hummingbirds.

Leaves

5-10 cm (2 to 4 in.) long.

Height
Wild-Bergamot-2

60-120 cm (2 to 4 ft.) tall.

Habitat

Dry soils, usually in dry woods, thickets, and forest clearings.

Range

North America, east of the Rockies

Discussion

The leaves of the plant have been used traditionally to make a strongly mint flavored tea, and it is supposed to have a number of medicinal qualities, 1 teaspoon of dried leaves to 8 ounces of boiling water. The leaves can be added fresh, in small quantities, to salad, desserts and drinks. Wild bergamot was often employed medicinally, for treatment of the digestive system and burns. It is still sometimes used in modern herbalism. Also, the leaves have been used as an insect repellent.