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Common Name: Mint-Leaved Bergamot
Monarda menthifolia is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.75 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
N. America - Manitoba to Alberta, south to Arizona and Texas.
Medium-dry to moist soils in valleys, prairies and mountains to 2,100 metres[
Easily grown in ordinary garden soil so long as it is not too dry[
]. Requires a moist soil and a sunny position[
A good bee plant[
]. Subject to mildew in dry summers[
The Hopi Indians occasionally cultivate this plant as a pot herb[
Leaves - used as an aromatic tea[
]. The leaves are a very common and popular potherb with the Hopi Indians - they are gathered and dried in bundles for winter use[
The leaves and flowering stems are anaesthetic, antiseptic and diaphoretic[
]. An infusion is used in the treatment of fevers and sore throats[
]. The pulverized plant has been rubbed on the head to bring relief from a headache[
]. An infusion of the plant is used as a wash on wounds[
The plant is a source of the medicinal essential oil 'thymol', which is antiseptic[
Seed - sow mid to late spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 10 - 40 days at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.
The seed can also be sown in situ in late summer in areas where the winters are not too severe and will produce larger plants.
Cuttings of soft basal shoots in spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
Division in spring or autumn. Large divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.