Herb: Lemon Bergamot

Latin name: Monarda citriodora

Family: Labiatae

Edible parts of Lemon Bergamot:

Leaves - raw or cooked. They are used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods and also as a tea. They have a pleasant lemon flavour.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

July to


Habitat of the herb:

Limestone barrens and slopes. Prairies, savannahs and roadsides in Texas.

Other uses of Lemon Bergamot:

An essential oil in the leaves contains a phenol and a citral. No more information is given, though the oil is likely to have medicinal activity and perhaps be suitable for perfumery etc. The essential oil citronellal, used as an insect repellent and in perfumery, is obtained from this plant.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow mid to late spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 10 - 40 days at 20C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in late summer in areas where the winters are not too severe and will produce larger plants. Cuttings of soft basal shoots in spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn.

Cultivation of Lemon Bergamot:

Limestone barrens and slopes. Prairies, savannahs and roadsides in Texas.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Monarda citriodora:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.