Monarda didyma Grand Parade ('ACrade') 

Grand Parade bee balm    Perennial of the Month-- July 2014 Perry caricature

 (pronunciation at link)  (mo-nar' dah  di' di-mah)

Common name:  Grand Parade monarda/bee balm/oswego tea

Family:  Lamiaceae, Mint

Height x width: 16" x 16"

Growth rate, habit: moderate, compact

Foliage: dark green through season; good powdery mildew resistance; opposite, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 3" long and half as wide, serrate margins, smooth (glabrous), distinctive scent to bruised leaves; 4-angled stem characteristic of family

Flowers:  purple-violet terminal whorls about 2.5" wide, one per stem, long period of bloom through much of the summer; pungent mint fragrance

Hardiness: USDA zones 3-8

Soil:  tolerates most, prefers well-drained loam

Light:  full sun preferred, tolerates part shade (4-6hrs direct sun per day) but with less bloom

Pests and problems:  none significant, good mildew resistance

Landscape habit, uses:  borders, edging, massed, containers, bees and hummingbirds, cutting; combines well with shasta daisies, white coneflowers, lower ornamental grasses such as blue oat grass or blue fescue, daylilies, pink compact geranium such as 'Wargrave Pink'

Other interest: PP 19,580, from the Morden, Manitoba experiment station breeding program; selected from open-pollinated seedlings in 2001; similar to 'Petite Delight' only it has larger flowers, glossier foliage, taller, and flowers with less red; deer resistant

Other culture:  deadheading (removing) spent blooms may prolong bloom time

Propagation:  home--stem cutting early summer or root division in spring; commercially by licensed propagators

Sources:  many online and local specialty nurseries

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