Native #2:
Monarda didyma

Beebalm or Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma)

© Bill Hilton Jr.

Beebalm or Oswego Tea, Monarda didyma, a member of the mint family, is as attractive to humans as Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, since its leaves make a fragrant tea. It prefers plenty of sun (with dappled shade at midday) and moist soil. Its close relative, Wild Bergamot, M. fistulosa, has a pinkish or pale lavender blossom and similar habitat needs. Along with hummingbirds, both these flowers also bring in native bees, butterflies, and other nectar-loving insects.

If you have a sharp photo of this hummingbird flower you would like to contribute for this page, please send it to PROJECTS with info about when and where the photo was taken, the photographer's name, and any anecdotal info about the plant.


Blooms late spring to early autumn
Moist, acid, rich soil
Full to partial sun
Zones 4-7

NOTE: We are not horticulturists, so we regret we can't answer specific questions about how to plant and propagate native hummingbird flowers, but your local agriculture extension office or Master Gardener group may be able to help. We're also unable to provide names of sources from which you can order native plants. Please do NOT collect native plants from the wild unless they are growing in a site under immediate threat from development; instead, try to find a reputable nursery near you that raises native plants from cuttings or seeds.

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