Monarda is for the hummingbirds

Monarda is for the hummingbirds

Monarda graces every list which identifies plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The small plot in my own front yard has been a frequent stop for some local ruby-throated hummingbirds. This North American genus, Monarda, was named for Dr. Nicolas Monardas, a Spanish physician whose Joyfull Newes Out of the New Founde Worlde was the first book to be published about the flora of the Americas.

With their square stems and tartly fragrant foliage, monardas can easily be identified as members of the mint family. A plethora of cultivars offer color choices like pink, red, white, or violet for lovely summer blooms from late June to August.

With this diversity, it may be hard to choose the right cultivar for your garden. Andrew Bunting, curator of the Scott Arboretum, recommends Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ as the most vibrant bee balm in the Delaware Valley. This cultivar was found growing along Georgia’s Blue Ridge Parkway and is considered the most mildew-resistant cultivar on the market (credit lorna). It was named for the son of Georgia plantsman and garden designer, Jean Cline. The large red-tufted flowers look quite striking in the Pollinators Garden right now.

Come experience the vibrant blooms of Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ while relaxing with a martini at Sunset Sippin’ on Thursday, July 10 in the Pollinators Garden. Stop by and maybe glimpse a hummingbird or other pollinators visiting the intense red flowers of monarda.

Becky Robert
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