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The CSU Extension in Gilpin County helps mountain residents improve their quality of life by offering a website, classes and programs that provide unbiased, research-based information on forestry, wildfire, wildlife, mountain gardening, noxious weeds and many other issues. Through our 4-H programs, we help youth develop life skills through leadership opportunities.

Bee Balm   arrow

Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa)

By Susan Fernalld, Master Gardener

Monarda fistulosa upcloseMonarda fistulosa (commonly called Bee balm or Horsemint) is a native plant that is a sentimental favorite of mine. It is both beautiful and aromatic, and its flower heads remind me of court jesters’ hats. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are drawn to its nectar. It blooms in the foothills and mountains from early July through August.




Monarda fistulosaA perennial, Bee balm grows naturally in patches in our sunny high country meadows with well-drained soil. It spreads by seeds and rhizomes. In your garden it tolerates dryness but benefits from supplemental water during especially dry summers. (Direct water from your roof downspout through your Bee balm patch, and you will be rewarded with lush and long-blooming stands.)

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