Monarda citriodora 'Lemon Beebalm'

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Quick Overview

Lemon Beebalm blooms from May through to August. It has tuft-like lavender to pink whorled flower heads and its small curved petals are lavender often dotted with purple. Several stems grow from the base and are lined with pairs of lance-shaped leaves.

Monarda citriodora 'Lemon Beebalm'

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Lemon Beebalm is a long flowering annual flower, blooming from May through to August. It has tuft-like lavender to pink whorled flower heads and its small curved petals are lavender often dotted with purple. Several stems grow from the base and are lined with pairs of lance-shaped leaves. The Bee Balms are very aromatic with a pleasant, lemon citrus aroma when the leaves are crushed. They are often used to make elegant table cuttings, used in dried flower arrangements and to perfume pot-pourri. Lemon Bee Balm also makes and excellent herbal tea. Bees and butterflies are especially attracted to the vibrant flowers and nectar of this pretty plant. It is excellent as a bedding plant or in the butterfly garden.

Sowing: Sow in Late winter to late spring. Monarda is easily grown from seed. They can be started early in pots or sown directly where they are to flower once all danger of frost is passed.

Sowing Indoors: Surface sow at 1.5mm (1/16in) deep in pots or trays containing good seed compost. “Just cover” the seed. Make sure the compost is kept moist but not wet and seal inside a polythene bag until germination which usually takes 10 to 24 days at around 20°C (68°F). Once seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant to 7cm (3in) pots. Harden off before planting into their final positions in early summer. Space 30cm (12in).

Sowing Direct: Plant 1/8in deep in good quality compost. Germination takes 10 to 30 days. Thin out when large enough to handle, so that they are finally 30cm (12in) apart. Provide additional water if necessary until the plants reach 30cm (10in)

Cultivation: Lemon Bee Balm, unlike other Monardas, is an annual flower, if you wish to collect seeds or leave to self sow, allow the seeds to mature completely before cutting. (the spherical heads become dry and brown)

Culinary Use: Leaves have a citrus flavour ideal for cordials or brewed as a tisane tea. They can be minced and added to fruit and jellies, baking and roasts

Medicinal Use: Early settlers of American Midwest brewed cough medicine from the leaves.

Pest Repellents: When crushed, the leaves can make an effective insect repellent

Ornamental Use: Bedding plant, Informal / cottage garden, Herb garden, Prairie planting, Short grass meadow, Bee & Butterfly garden. Table cuttings, Dried flower arrangements and to perfume pot-pourri.

Nomenclature: Native to Midwest America, this genus takes its name after Nicolás Bautista Monardes (1493-1588) a physician and botanist from Seville in Spain. Monardes wrote extensively in the 16th century about New World medicinal plants and is considered one of the founders of experimental pharmacology. Monardes wrote the first account of many of the new plants discovered in America at the time. Although he never visited the New World himself, Monardes established a botanical garden in Seville where he cultivated specimens and studied the effects of medicinal plants imported from the Americas. He published his 'Two books...about the Drugs from the West Indies used in Medicine' in 1565, and it included the first illustrations of coca, tobacco and sunflowers, as well as many other plants. It is known that Monardes also believed that tobacco smoke was an infallible cure for everything. The species name citriodora derives from Latin citrus and odoro meaning to 'give a fragrant smell'. Monarda species have a number of common names. Its most popular being 'Bee Balm', as the flowers are highly attractive to bees. The common name 'Oswego Tea' was named by early explorer John Bartram who found settlers near Oswego, New York using its leaves for tea. Although it is often referred to as 'Bergamot', it is not he source of Bergamot used in Earl Grey tea. The name was inspired by the fragrance of the leaves, which is reminiscent of bergamot orange, Citrus bergamia.

Additional Information

Packet Size 500mg
Average Seed Count 1,000 Seeds
Seed Form No
Seeds per gram No
Family Lamiaceae
Genus Monarda
Species citriodora
Cultivar No
Synonym Mondarda dispersa
Common Name Lemon Bee Balm, Lemon Bergamot, Lemon-mint,
Other Common Names Horsemint, Purple horsemint.
Other Language Names No
Hardiness Hardy Annual
Hardy No
Flowers Tubular flowers in purple to pink.
Natural Flower Time May through August
Fruit No
Foliage No
Height 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in)
Spread 30 to 60cm (12 to 24in)
Spacing No
Position Full sun or partial shade
Aspect No
Soil Moist to dry sandy soil.
Season No
Harvest No
Time to Sow Late winter to late spring.
Growing Period No
Coverage No
Germination No
Notes Herb
Uses No

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