Lemon Mint Beebalm
Monarda citriodora (Annual)
Monarda citriodora, commonly called lemon mint, lemon beebalm, lemon horsemint, purple horsemint, or lemon bergamot, is a hardy annual (sometimes biennial) typically found in rocky or sandy prairies, pastures, and roadsides in South Carolina and Florida west to Missouri, Texas, and Mexico. It grows 12-30” tall.
Tubular, scented, two-lipped, light lavender to pink to white flowers bloom in dense, rounded, head-like clusters from spring to mid-summer. Flower clusters appear on stiff square stems clad with narrow lanceolate to oblong, awn-tipped serrate leaves (to 2.5” long). Upper stem leaves may be in whorls. Each flower stem typically has 2 to 6 interrupted flower clusters, with each group being subtended by white to pink-lavender bracts.
Flowers became attractive to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, particularly when massed. Leaves have a distinctive lemony aroma when rubbed. Some monardas are called bee balm about the prior use of the leaves as a balm for bee stings.
They are quickly grown, on average, in dry to medium moisture soils in full sun to part shade. She prefers limestone-rich, rocky, or sandy soils but tolerates other soils and prefers full sun. Plant seed in fall or early spring. This plant will remain in the garden from year to year by self-seeding. Plants may form large colonies in optimum growing conditions.
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Water: Low to Medium
Zone: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Origin: Central & Southern U.S. & Northern Mexico