Mountain Beebalm in the Landscape

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    Mountain Beebalm in the Landscape

     

    Heidi Kratsch, Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
    Graham Hunter, Research Associate, Center for Water Efficient Landscaping

    Monardella odoratissima

    Mountain Beebalm

    Mountain beebalm pinkish purple flowerDescription: This mound-forming perennial is typically seen in
    higher elevations in the interior West. The lavender or rosepurple flowers are attractive to insects, especially bees and
    butterflies.

    In the mint family, its stems are sturdy and erect, and it emits a fragrant aroma of mint when brushed.

    This plant is easy to establish and maintain in Intermountain West landscapes and is perfect for rock gardens.

     


    Cultural Requirements:

    Native Habitat Typically in higher elevation, rocky
    areas at 6,000 to 11,000 feet
    Soil  Dry, rocky or sandy well drained
    Cold Tolerance Zones 3 - 8
    Drought Tolerance Medium; water one time per month in most Utah landscapes
    Salt Tolerance Unknown
    Sun/Shade Preference Full sun to part shade
    Propagation  From seed, stem cuttings, or division
    Maintenance Clip off spent flowers for appearance and repeated bloom;
    prune lightly in fall for a more compact appearance.
    Problems No known cultural problems

    Landscape Value:

    Use in the Landscape     Borders, accents, rock gardens, ground cover
    Foliage Glossy, ovate leaves oppositely arranged on stems; vary in color
    from dark green to blue-green
    Flowers Showy, lavender or rose-purple
    inflorescence (cluster of flowers)
    arranged in a flower head
    Color mountain beebalm color chart
    Fruit (seedheads) Smooth, brown nutlets (4)
    Form Mounded, sprawling
    Texture Fine
    Ultimate Size 1 foot tall x 2 feet wide
    Rate of Growth Fast; blooms in the first year
    Plant Community Subalpine, montane, foothills
    Availability “Utah’s Choice” selection, check local nurseries
    Cultivars None of ornamental value

    Propagation:

    Cold-moist stratify seed for up to 90 days. Germinate in a soil-less, peat-based mix at a depth of ¼ inch. Fresh
    seed may not need cold-stratification to germinate. Plant can be propagated from stem cuttings. Divide plants
    every 3 to 5 years, as needed.


    Additional Photos:

    moutain beebalm flowersmountain beebalm plants on a slope

     

     

     

     

     

         
     
     
     
    Photo credits: Graham Hunter

    References:

    Bartow, Amy. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Monardella odoratissima Benth. seeds; USDA
    NRCS - Corvallis Plant Materials Center, Corvallis, In: Native Plant Network. URL:
    http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 3 January 2009). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho,
    College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.

    Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network (NPIN). 2008. URL:
    http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=MOOD

    Mee, W., J. Barnes, R. Kjelgren, R. Sutton, T. Cerny, and C. Johnson. 2003. Waterwise: Native Plants for
    Intermountain Landscapes. Utah State University Press, Logan, UT.

    Utah Water-wise Plants (Utah Division of Water Resources). 2008. URL: http://www.waterwiseplants.utah.gov


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