For a start the Monarda or Bee Balm is a most attractive plant with flowers in shades of pink, red and purple. And as its name suggests it attracts not only bees but also hummingbirds and butterflies into your garden. The third reason is that it can also be used in the kitchen where the leaves make a tasty tea. In her article which I found on the Houzz website Marianne Lipanovich describes the benefits of growing this plant and some tips on its cultivation.
The humble scarlet beebalm (Monarda didyma) has a lot to recommend it, especially in eastern North America, where it originated. This easy-care perennial not only attracts bees to your garden, but butterflies and hummingbirds also find it irresistible. It’s a welcome addition to a perennial garden, a naturalistic garden or an herb garden. If that’s not enough, its fragrant leaves have long been used for tea, and its flowers can be added to a bouquet or brought into the kitchen to use in everything from salad to dessert.
‘Jacob Cline’ beebalm
Botanical name: Monarda didyma
Common names: Scarlet beebalm, Oswego tea, red bergamot, bee balm
Origin: Native to eastern North America
Where will it grow: Hardy to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius (USDA zones 3 to 9; find your zone)
Water requirement: Regular to ample water; can handle some drought when mature
Light requirement: Full sun; afternoon shade in the hottest summer climates
Mature size: 1 foot to 8 feet tall and 2 feet wide
Benefits and tolerances: Flowers that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds; fragrant leaves and edible flowers that make good bouquets; deer resistant
Seasonal interest: Summer flowers; possible repeat bloom in fall
When to plant: Sow seeds or set out plants in early spring.Distinguishing traits. Clumps of leaves 2 to 4 feet tall are topped by showy clusters of flower-bedecked stems. The 3-inch-long tubular flowers have a somewhat shaggy appearance in shades of pink, red, white, blue and lavender. The fragrant leaves are dark green.