Bring butterflies and hummingbirds home with a single plant

The humble scarlet beebalm( Monarda didyma) has a lot to recommend it, especially in eastern Northern america, where it originated. This easy-care perennial not only attracts bees to your garden, but butterflies and hummingbirds also find it irresistible. Its a welcome addition to a perennial garden, a naturalistic garden or an herb garden. If thats not enough, its fragrant leaves have long been used for tea, and its flowers can be added to a corsage or brought into the kitchen to use in everything from salad to dessert.

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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 tint in the hottest summer climates Mature size: 1 foot to 8 feet tall and 2 feet wide Benefits and tolerances: Blooms that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds; fragrant leaves and edible flowers that make good corsages; deer resistant Seasonal interest: Summer blooms; possible recur bloom in fall When to plant: Sow seeds or set off plants in early spring. Distinguishing traits. Clumps of foliages 2 to 4 feet tall are topped by showy clusters of flower-bedecked stems. The 3-inch-long tubular blooms have a somewhat shaggy appearance in shades of pink, red, white, blue and lavender. The fragrant leaves are dark green.

The leaves are said to impart a flavor similar to that of the sour orange citrus, also known as bergamot when used for tea, devoting this plant one of its common names.

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Beebalm and clematis( Clematis sp .)

How to use it. Plant scarlet beebalm where you can enjoy the bees, hummingbirds and butterflies that its flowers will attract. Its especially effective when massed with other perennials, such as black-eyed Susans( Rudbeckia spp .) and coneflowers( Echinacea spp .), in perimeters, native gardens and natural-style gardens.

More ways to use scarlet beebalm πŸ˜› TAGEND It makes a wonderful addition to herb gardens and sensory gardens. The dark green leaves can be used in teas and as a mint replace. The edible blooms can be used in salads, preserves and baked goods; treat as garnishes on fish and in punch bowls.( The red ones are said to be the tastiest .) Fresh flowers can also be added to corsages, and dried petals and leaves can be used in potpourris.

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