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June Resilient Plant

Sunday, June 02, 2019
by Josh Steger | Director of Horticulture

Spotted Beebalm, Monarda punctata

We’ve got another Wisconsin native coming your way!  Spotted Beebalm or Horsemint (Monarda punctata) is a perennial you won’t forget.  The flowers on this native are just incredible!  Whirled yellow blooms supported by rosy white bracts on the upper portion of the stem form spots as the flower matures.  Flowers will last from July through September making this a great plant to carry interest in your garden for months at a time.  The aroma of the Horsemint, as you guessed, smells like mint and is a pollinator magnet. Though the aroma may seem pleasant to insects and other pollinators; mammals find the scent too strong and stay away from eating it.  So if you have issues with wildlife eating your native plants, this one will be sure to last.

The Spotted Beebalm grows anywhere from six to 36 inches in dry, well drained and sandy soils.  Full sun is preferred, but will grow in partial shade with the exception that it won’t produce as many flowers.  This specimen can be considered a tender perennial, annual and biennial because plants will only last for a few years, but live on through seed.

Monarda punctata plants have medicinal properties as well.  Boiling down the leaves in a tea will help with upper respiratory ailments, as well as, treat digestive issues.  It has also been known to help people struggling with arthritis.

Why did Spotted Beebalm make our list of resiliency?  Besides being a beautiful and one of a kind Wisconsin Native plant, Spotted Beebalm isn’t new to the wildflower scene of Wisconsin. It spreads through seed and will keep your pollinators happy for many months, not to mention the pleasant minty/oregano scent it gives off is enjoyable.  You won’t have to worry about deer or rabbits eating this one. This year you can find Spotted Beebalm featured in the new meadow space of Allen Centennial Garden. If you want to give this native a try, Flower Factory in Stoughton, WI has a large selection of them. Try saving the seeds for the following year to spread throughout your garden or give them away to a friend!  

Tags: Garden Display and Design

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