Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
A variety of pollinators visiting Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot), at the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden on June 25 and 28, 2016. © 2016 Mary Free
Pollinators in order of appearance are Bombus bimaculatus (Two-spotted bumble bee), Augochlorini sp. (Green sweat bee), Bombus griseocollis (Brown-belted bumble bee), Bombus auricomus (Black and gold bumble bee), Toxomerus geminatus (Syrphid fly), and Apis melifera (European honey bee).
This showy mint family member boasts a fragrance similar to bergamot oranges. Its aromatic leaves are used in herbal tea. Flowers attract many pollinators, especially bees. Seed heads attract small birds. The Virginia Native Plant Society named Wild Bergamot* Wildflower of the Year in 1993.
*It is native in DC, Maryland and in the Piedmont of Delaware. It is native in about two-thirds of the counties in PA. In VA, it is frequent in the Piedmont, common in the mountains, and rare in the Coastal Plain (it is absent in Prince William County).