Inside & Out
The envelope please, we want lots of color
Here's the word on bee balm from the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Bee balm is popular for its vibrant, long-blooming flowers that draw butterflies, birds and of course, bees.
Their big drawback, says Richard Hawke, coordinator of Plant Evaluation Programs, is mildew.
"While powdery mildew is a serious disease that many bee balms are susceptible to, we discovered that a handful of these magnificent cultivars can thrive relatively disease-free," he said.
The following varieties of bee balm or Monarda rated well for several categories in the garden's four-year study.
They are Blue Wreath, Colrain Red, Falls of Hill's Creek, Gardenview Scarlet, Marshalls Delight, Ohio Glow, Raspberry Wine and Violet Queen.
All of these are available in Midwest nurseries.
The results of the study of Monarda and Powdery Resistance is the 12th edition of the Chicago Botanic Garden's Plant Evaluation Notes series.
The cost is $2 per copy. Write Plant Evaluation Notes, c/o Richard Hawke, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022.
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