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Wild Bee Balm, Lemon Mint
Scientific Name: Monarda citriodora Cerv. ex Lag.
Synonym: Monarda aristata, Monarda dispersa, Monarda tenuiaristata
Family: Lamiaceae
Wild Bee Balm, Lemon Mint (Monarda citriodora)
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Wild Bee Balm at the Desert Botanical Garden in late June
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: All zones
USDA: 5-11

Heat Tolerance: Light shade in Phoenix

Sun Exposure: Full sun or afternoon shade

Origin: Southern USA, northern Mexico

Growth Habits: Annual, up to 2 feet tall (60 cm), 2 feet spread (60 cm)

Watering Needs: Moderate water

Propagation: Seeds sown in place in spring or fall

The Bee Balms are used to make herbal tea and to perfume pot-pourris. They are also cultivated for their ornamental value as well as their scent. They are well loved by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
The genus name is after Nicholas Monardes, a Spanish physician from Seville who wrote in the 16th century about New World medicinal plants. The species name comes from Latin for "citrus smell".
Monarda dispersa, Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 3: 134. Courtesy of Kentucky Native Plant Society.

Cultural Practices:
The Lemon Mint prefers moderately fertile, alkaline soil. Space the plants 12 inches apart (30 cm).

Blooming Habits:
The tubular flowers of the monarda are good cut flowers.

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