All posts tagged: Monarda

Grant from Devon Plant Heritage

It’s well known that the scale of benefit versus input is quite high for Monarda. The stunning high summer fireworks shaped flowers come in many colours from white to many hues of reds, pinks, violets and purples. They look great en masse in a variety of different gardening styles from cottage gardens through to prairie planting. The down side is the temperamental nature when overwintered in ground that’s too damp, whilst in the summer requiring some degree of moisture. As a result they can easily suffer dieback and not make it through to the next season. For this reason, whilst I grow many Monarda cultivars, particularly in the developing prairie garden, for reasons of sustainability my actual National Collection is held in containers. The containers facilitate both winter drainage and summer watering from an automatic sprinkler system. Secondary benefits also include the ability to easily compare cultivars and ensure the collection cultivars are all correctly named. In addition, the powdery mildew problem associated with many cultivars can be helped by extra levels of care when …

2017 update – Accessions in this Plant Heritage National Plant Collection® of Monarda

There are presently 95 accessions, nearly all cultivars. Updated images and plant descriptions are currently being completed. ‘Gardenview Scarlet’ AGM ‘Twins’ ‘Fireball’  PBR ‘Squaw’ AGM ‘Vintage Wine’ ‘Ruby Glow’ ‘Snow Queen’ ‘Cambridge Scarlet’ AGM ‘Violet Queen’ AGM ‘Loddon Crown’ ‘Croftway Pink’ AGM didyma ‘Duddiscombe’ ‘Marshall’s Delight’ AGM ‘Capricorn’ bradburiana ‘Maramek‘ ‘Blaustrumpf’ didyma ‘Cranberry Lace’ didyma fistulosa ‘Tante Polly’ didyma ‘‘Panorama Red Shades’ Baby Spice’ ‘Jacob Cline’ ‘Kardinal’ ‘Aquarius’ ‘Raspberry Wine’ ‘Hartswood Wine’ ‘Petite Delight’  = ‘Acpetdel’ ‘Ou Charm’ ‘Sugar Lace’ ‘Lederstrumpf’ ‘Mahogony’ citriodora ‘Pardon My Pink’ ‘Balance’ ‘Praerienacht’ ‘Fishes’ ‘Sagittarius’ ‘Scorpion’ ‘Beauty of Cobham’ AGM ‘Bergamo’ ‘Rebecca’ ‘Heidelerche’ ‘Othello’ ‘Osage’ On Parade’ ‘Saxon Purple’ ‘Mohawk’ Poyntzfield Pink’ ‘Schneewittchen’ fistulosa ssp.menthifolia ‘Oswegokraut’ ‘Neon’ ‘Elsie’s Lavender’ ‘Pawnee’ ‘Violette’ didyma ‘‘Panorama’ ‘Shelley’ ‘Westacre Purple’ ‘Elworthy’ ‘Violacea’ ‘Gewitterwolke’ ‘Pink Supreme’ PBR ‘Earl Grey’ ‘Adam’ bradburiana   didyma ‘Alba’ ‘Comanche’ didyma ‘Coral Reef’ ‘Talud’ AGM didyma ‘Pink Lace’  PBR ‘Melissa’ ‘Petite Pink Supreme’ ‘Purple Ann’ ‘Huckleberry’ ‘Camilla’ didyma ‘T&M superb mixed’ didyma ‘Pamorama mixed‘ punctata menthifolia  ‘Petite Wonder’ ‘Eugens Kirschrot’ ‘Eugens Purpursamt’ ‘Lambada’ Pardon My Purple’ ‘Purpurkrone’ fistulosa x didyma ‘Trinity …

Hole’s Meadow and the Plant Heritage National Plant Collections® of Monarda and Nepeta held there

The National Plant Collections presently comprise of around 95 taxa (forms) of Monarda and 108 Nepeta.  With a fabulous view looking up to Cawsand  Beacon on the northern edge of Dartmoor, the collections are grown on part of a piece of land called Hole’s Meadow, one of the burgage plots of medieval origin in the village of South Zeal, near Okehampton and within the Dartmoor National Park. These National Plant Collections of Monarda and Nepeta were developed slowly over a number of years, with the original accessions being sourced from a wide variety of excellent nurseries from within the UK and EU as well as with seeds from the US. The Collections were awarded in early 2013 by Plant Heritage*, who also supervise their ongoing status. In order to hold a Collection, as well as other criteria, one has to maintain a minimum of three of each accession. Specialism in Monarda and Nepeta was chosen because they are both bee attractors, thus supporting the bee colonies based in the apiary on the site. When viewed together, the Collections are …

Growing Monarda

As well as growing in traditional herb gardens, in Britain, Monarda is probably most commonly seen in the ornamental garden, although they’re also ideal for wild gardens and meadows, including using the prairie gardening styles. The use of Monarda in this way has been helped to become popular by Piet Oudolf, who himself developed a number of the modern cultiars. The smaller forms such as Cranberry Lace also make great outdoor pot plants. They are of course perfect for all types of herbaceous bvorder, with many growing within the height range of 90 to 150cm. Similarly, with colours from white and the spectrum of reds, pinks, purples and violets, they will fit into many planting schemes. They ideally need full sun or light shade, spaced around 50 cm apart, preferably with some compost mixed into the soil. Most of the forms shouldn’t be allowed to dry out, so a moderately and consistently moisture retentive spot is needed, but in most cases not boggy. Varieties do vary though, with some being more able to cope with …

Autumn care of Monarda

The following is reproduced from my piece in Plant Heritage Journal autumn 2015: Monarda (bee balm, bergamot) are those striking late summer clumps of ‘fireworks’ in the herbaceous border, herb garden, prairie garden and nowadays, dwarf forms in containers too.  But much as we love the show, they can be rather temperamental too. They mainly hate it to be too damp, yet need some moisture and dislike drying out. Apart from those cultivars such as M. ‘Marshall’s Delight’ or M. ‘Jacob Cline’ that have powdery mildew resistance, their leaves will also often succumb to its symptoms, with unsightly foliage from usually later in the summer. Assuming that site and aspect were right at the time planting; good drainage and mainly full sun, then you’re half way there. Nurturing your Monarda plants in the autumn is all about increasing the chances of success even further; the chance of both lowering the percentage of overwinter plant loss and that of maintaining vigorous and healthy surviving plants into next season. A reminder before the maintenance starts is to …

Dwarf forms of Monarda in National Plant Collection

All forms have the great characteristics of both abundant flowers and excellent mildew resistance. Numerous other varieties are grown and are becoming increasingly popular, particularly as pot grown plants. Notes: PBR – Plant Breeders’ Rights RHS colour no – RHS plant colour reference chart USPP – United States Plant Patent Maximum height Colour RHS colour no Protection status   Monarda ‘Baby Spice’ 40cm rich pink/lilac 84B None   Monarda didyma ‘Cranberry Lace’ 30cm rose pink 67A PBR   Monarda ‘Elworthy’ 45cm pink 80C None   Monarda ‘Pardon my Pink’ 30cm rich pink 61B USPP   Monarda ‘Pardon my Purple’ 30cm dark fuchsia 71A USPP   Monarda ‘Petite Delight’ 40cm pink through to purple 64A, 72B, 80A USPP Image to follow Monarda ‘Petite Pink Supreme’ 30cm cerise pink 61B None   Monarda ‘Petite Wonder’ 25cm pink 73A USPP   Monarda ‘Pink Spider’ 40cm soft pink 57A No   Monarda ‘Purple Lace’ 50cm purple/ pink 77A No

Monarda in detail: A to C

Monarda ‘Adam’ – Flowers cherry red (RHS 45B). Height  75cm – 1.2m. Old fashioned variety. Purple tinged bracts. Withstands dry conditions better than others. . . . . . . Monarda ‘Aquarius’ – Flowers bright purple (RHS 78C). Green bracts with a purple tinge. Height 90cm – 1.3m. Introduced by  Piet Oudolf’. Mildew resistant. . . . . . . Monarda ‘Baby Spice‘ – A low growing (height 40cm), long flowering form with pink flowers (RHS 84B) Image copyright http://www.plantnu.nl . . . . . Monarda ‘Balance’ – Syn. Monarda ‘Libra’. Flowers rich rose pink (RHS 52A). Height 75cm – 1.2m. Mildew resistant. Form selected by Piet Oudolf. . . . . . . Monarda ‘Beauty of Cobham’ AGM – Flowers pale purple/ pink (RHS 76A). Height to 90cm. Old fashioned variety with purple bracts. RHS Award of Garden Merit. . . . . . . Monarda ‘Bergamo’ – A Dutch annual form with beautiful rich rose purple storeys of flowers and green lanceolate leaves. Height to 70cm. From Kieft Seeds, “Monarda x hybrida ‘Bergamo’ stunned the Fleuroselect judges by its earliness and magnificent new colour. This annual Monarda produces …

Monarda in detail: D to I

Monarda didyma – Various synonyms. Numerous common names including Oswego Tea, Beebalm, Scarlet Beebalm, Rose balm, Low balm, Hare mint, Bee balm tea plant, Robin-run-around, Sweet bergamot. Flowers scarlet (RHS 46B). Height 1 – 1.5m. Scent akin to Bergamot Orange.  Important US ethnobotanical plant, native to the east & part of the north west. Naturalised elsewhere in US,  Europe & Asia. . . . . Monarda didyma ‘alba’. White didyma form, but mine is the palest purple/ pink (RHS 76D). Height 1 – 1.5m. . . . . . . Monarda didyma ‘Coral Reef’ – Flowers rich pink (RHS 54B). Similar to Marshall’s Delight but shorter; height 90 – 105cm. Introduced from the Morden Breeding Programme in Manitoba, Canada. Mildew resistance. . . . . . Monarda didyma ‘Cranberry Lace’ ® – Flowers rose pink (RHS 67D). Height 30cm, a very compact variety.  Very floriferous and good for container growing and as an edging plant. Introduced  and patented by Future Plants. Mildew resistance. . . . Monarda didyma ‘Duddiscombe’ – Flowers cerise pink (RHS 61B). Height to 1.1m. Introduced by Sampford Shrubs from Tiverton in Devon. Little if …

Monarda in detail: J – R

Monarda ‘Jacob Kline’ – Very large deep red flower heads (RHS 45B). A very tall form to height 1.2m. Excellent mildew resistance. Found growing wild in Georgia, US, by plantsman Jean Cline and named for his son. Introduced by Saul Nurseries, Georgia. . . . . Monarda ‘Kardinal’ – Syn, Monarda ‘Cardinal’. Flowers purple/ red RHS 60C). Height 90cm – 1.2m. Reasonable mildew resistance.  Form selected by Pagels, Germany. . . . . . . Monarda ‘Lambada’ – Distinct form with tall spires of flowers arranged in whorls. The flower heads are a mixture of white and pale mauves (in the range of RHS 84 B-D) with dotted markings. Height to 90cm. Tends to be grown as an annual/ HHP. Easily grown from seed. . . . . . Monarda ‘Lederstrumpf” – Mauve form with height to 90cm. Image copyright: www.jardindupicvert.com . . . . Monarda ‘Loddon Crown’ – Flowers purple/ red (RHS 59C) from brown/ red bracts. Height 70 – 90cm. Fairly vigorous. Not mildew resistant. . . . . .   Monarda ‘Mahogany’ – Flowers dark red (RHS 46A) from brown-red bracts. Height to 1m. . Monarda ‘ Marshall’s …

Monarda in detail: S – Z

Monarda ‘Sagittarius’ – Syn. Monarda ‘Bowman’. Flowers lilac (mine is 84B) from brown bracts. Similar to Elsie’s Lavender but shorter and deeper purple. Height to 70cm. Mildew resistance. Form from Piet Oudolf. . . . . . Monarda ‘Saxon Purple’ – Flowers rich purple (RHS 77A). Height to 1m. Strong growing. . . . . Monarda ‘Schneewitchen’ – syn. Monarda ‘Snow Maiden’, Monarda ‘Snow White’. Flowers white from green bracts. Height to 1m. Introduced in the mid 1950’s. . . . . . . Monarda ‘Scorpion’ – Flowers purple/ red from purple bracts. Height to 1.2m. Mildew resistance. . . . . . . Monarda ‘Shelley’ – Flowers strong ‘salmon’ pink (RHS 52A/B). Height 1.2m. . . . . . . Monarda ‘Sioux’ – White with very pale pink tinge from purple bracts. Height to 70cm. Mildew resistant. Image copyright http://www.coppelmans.nl . . . . . Monarda ‘Snow Queen’ – White with the very slightest hint of pale lilac (RHS 76D).  Green bracts. Height: mine to 80cm, but  reports of up to 1.2m. . . . . . . Monarda ‘Squaw’ AGM – Flowers bright scarlet (RHS 45A) from dark red/ brown bracts. Height 1.2m. Fairly mildew resistant. RHS …