This beautiful didyma species of Monarda is a delight in the garden and attracts many bees and butterflies as well ruby throated hummingbirds who love the red hue of this mint family plant. Bee Balm is a star plant in a pollinator garden and can be grown in relatively compacted wet soil as well as partial shade. The delightful aroma is reminiscent of bergamot orange and has a nice peppery taste when you nibble the flowers. Didyma Bee Balm was commonly worked with by the Oswego Nation and has many medicinal virtues including being a cold and flu ally. Also well known "Oswego tea," it is particularly valuable in helping quell upper respiratory infections. Didyma also provided settlers much of the tea they missed after the Boston Tea party and was grown in many colonial gardens. Bee Balm is a fascinating plant with incredible virtues for us and our winged ones.
Bee Balm, Scarlet (Monarda didyma)