Perry's Perennial Pages

Monarda 'Petite Delight'

    Perennial of the Month-- December 2002 

(mo-nar' dah) (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name: Petite Delight Monarda

Family: Lamiaceae, Mint

Height x width: 12-18" high and wide

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: dark green through season; opposite, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 2-3" long, serrate margins, smooth (glabrous), distinctive scent to bruised leaves; 4-angled stem characteristic of family

Flowers: lavender rose, fragrant

Hardiness: zones 3-8

Soil: tolerates most, prefers well-drained loam

Light: sun

Pests and Problems: powdery mildew resistant generally in gardens, but quite susceptible if closely spaced

Landscape habit, uses: borders, edging, massed, containers, bees and hummingbirds, cutting

Other interest: genus native to eastern N. America; genus named for Nicolas Monardes, a 16th century Spanish botanist; name Oswego Tea is from early explorer John Bartram who found settlers near Oswego, NY using leaves for a tea;  it should not be confused with the bergamot tree, Citrus bergamina, which yields the oils used in Earl Grey tea and aromatherapy; name Beebalm is from its attractiveness to bees. This cultivar from the Morden, Manitoba breeding program, and introduced in 1999 by Bailey wholesale nursery in Minnesota; one of the lowest bee balms, much shorter than other cultivars; 'Petite Wonder' is similar only pink flowers and slightly shorter

Other culture: may remove spent flowers after bloom, otherwise low maintenance

Propagation: cuttings or division by licensed propagators (PPAF)

Sources: many local and mail order/online catalogs

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