Common Name of Plant: Bergamot
Scientific Name of Plant: Monarada fistulosa

Average Height of Plant: 3-5 feet tall

Blooming Time: July- August

Ask the Botanist

What are the leaves like? The leaves are green with a hint of red in it and are lighter on the underside. They are attached to the stem with a petiole (a short leaf stem). They have a rough surface and the back side is smooth. The leaves are thicker than a sheet of paper. They are usually 2-3 inches big. The leaves are located all over the plant; this is called whirl. Whirl means the leaves swirl up the stem of the plant and facing all directions. If you break the leave and smell it then you would smell a mint sensation. The bottom of the square-stemmed plant is mostly bare.

What type of flowers bloom on this plant? Bergamot will bloom during July and August. The flowers on this plant are a pinkish lavender color. The flower seems as if it exploded out of a bud. The topmost part of the petals is tube-shaped. The entire flower resembles a pom-pom shape. They hold a lot of nectar and attract insects with a pleasant smell. They are in clusters on top of the plant. A flower is usually two inches across.

What is unusual about the seedpods or seeds of this plant? The seedpods of the Bergamot take on a shape very similar to the flower. The pods form a spherical shape in which the seeds are clustered in a little spot in separate places around the the inside of the pod. The seeds themselves are very tiny and have a dark gold color to them. They drop their seeds in clumps which tend to take over the garden.

How is this plant important to animals? Has it also been used by people? The Bergamot is very attractive to bees. It seems as though it is their preferred flower. Bergamot also attracts hummingbirds which enjoy the nectar found in it. The flower creates a perch for butterflies who feed on the nectar as well. People can also use it by eating the leaves with a salad or fruit cup. Bergamot can also be used for certain types of medicines for colds, headaches, burns, and warts. Bergamot is used in various teas as well as its own tea. The oil of the Bergamot is used as air fresheners in their homes and stores.

Is there anything else unusual about this plant? The Bergamot can be found as a native plant to every state in the U.S. except for Florida and California. It has a high deer resistance. The Bergamot has been discovered to prevent mildew by providing good drainage and air circulation. The Bergamot is in the mint family. Another common name for the Bergamot is Bee Balm.


Whole Plant / Leaf
Flower / Bud
Plant in Autumn / Plant Emerging in the Spring