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Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants:
Tried and True Native Plant Fact Sheets
Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
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Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm, Oswego Tea)
This member of the Mint family, native to scattered regions of eastern North America,* grows along stream banks and in thickets and open woods. Its distinctive red flowers attract a variety of pollinators, especially hummingbirds,** and it offers herbal and medicinal benefits.
*In the Mid-Atlantic, it occurs mostly in the western and far eastern counties of PA. It is infrequent in the VA mountains and rare (maybe introduced) in the VA Piedmont. In NoVA, it is found in Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun Counties.
*** Discovered near the Blue Ridge Parkway, M. didyma ‘Jacob Cline’ is considered a natural selection of wild bee balm. In trials, ‘Jacob Cline’ “faired quite well against the dreaded powdery mildew” and was “a major hit” with hummers. [From Mt. Cuba Center Puts Nativars to the Test, 2/6/18]