Wild Bergamot (Bee Balm)

Vickie Emms

Anola, MB., Canada

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Artist's Description

Plant: Grey-green, square-stemmed perennial 50-120cm tall, from spreading rootstock.
Leaves: paired, lance-shaped, toothed, stalked, 6-10cm long, smaller upwards.
Flowers: Lavender to purple or yellowish pink, 2-3.5cm long, tubular, with a 3-lobed lower lip and a slender, fuzzy, 2-lobed upper lip tipped with 2 projecting stamens; flowers in head-like clusters.
Blooms: June to September
Fruits: 4 small nutlets
Habitat: upland wooded and open sites
Native from Quebec to BC, to the southern US

European settlers and native peoples gathered this aromatic plant for flavoring salads, cooked vegetables and stews and for making a pleasant minty tea. Dried powered leaves were sprinkled on food to keep flies and other insects away and were rubbed onto hair, skin, clothing and even favorite horses as perfume. The plant’s fragrance was likened to that of the citrus flavor in Earl Grey tea, giving rise to the name Wild Bergamot. (Manitoba Wayside Wildflowers – Linda Kershaw)

Photographed in Manitoba, Canada


Laminated Print

Artwork Comments

  • Tracy Wazny
  • Vickie Emms
  • Tracy Wazny
  • Vickie Emms
  • jesika
  • Vickie Emms
  • Digitalbcon
  • Vickie Emms
  • Smudger
  • Vickie Emms
  • saseoche
  • Vickie Emms
  • PrairieRose
  • Vickie Emms
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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