|Bee Balm, Bellevue Garden, 4/17/11|
I planted Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), also known as Bergamot, to attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. A member of the mint family, it gets gaudy red blossoms that remind me of fireworks. It is not quite as invasive as mint, but it sure does come on quickly in the spring. The tender shoots are edible, and I am now sipping on some tea made by simply putting five top cuttings in a large tea mug with boiling water. Let steep ten minutes, drink as is or add sweetener. I was going to add mint, but it is flavorful by itself. If you develop a taste for either the greens or the tea, its invasiveness may become a bonus!