Latin Name: Monarda Fistulosa
Vibrant shaggy pink-lavender flowers distinguish this plant from many others. It is drought-resistant, and it is dotted with glands that secrete aromatic oils scented similar to oregano. It can grow up to 70cm tall in some areas.
Opposite leaves are lance-shaped to ovate and can vary in colour from light green to dark green. Margins are serrated and can grow up to 10cm long and 5cm wide.
Flowers bloom outwards from the centre. There is a tubular upper lip with projecting stamens, and three slender lower lips that act as landing pads for visiting insects. It blooms in mid-summer for about one month.
Wild bergamot can be cooked and used as like most herbs. The leaves and flowers are edible both raw and cooked. They can be used to flavour salads and cooked foods. Fresh or dried flowers and leaves can be brewed into tea.
The leaves can also be dried and sprinkled on meat to help repel insects.
WHERE TO FIND
Found mostly in open plains, foothill and montane regions in moist to slightly dry soil.