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Common Names: Scarlet Bee Balm, Oswego Tea

Scientific Name: Monarda didyma


Plant Characteristics

  • Duration: Perennial
  • Size: Typically grows to a height of 2-4 ft., with showy clusters of vibrant red flowers.
  • Foliage: The leaves are opposite, lance-shaped, and often have a minty fragrance when crushed.
  • Bloom Color: Tubular, bright scarlet-red flowers that are attractive to pollinators.
  • Bloom Time: Summer


Growing Conditions

  • Water Use: Moderate
  • Light Requirement: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Soil Moisture: Moist to Well-Drained


Ecological Benefits

Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) is a native perennial plant that offers ecological benefits in Maryland's landscapes. Its vibrant scarlet-red flowers are particularly attractive to pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, contributing to local biodiversity.


This plant's adaptability to full sun to partial shade conditions makes it a versatile choice for gardens and natural areas. By providing essential nectar resources and its delightful minty fragrance, Scarlet Bee Balm supports the health and balance of local ecosystems in Maryland, making it a valuable addition to pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes. Additionally, it has cultural and medicinal uses, making it an interesting and useful herbaceous plant.

Scarlet Bee Balm

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