This is Monarda fistulosa “Claire Grace,” also known as wild bergamot. Lovely, isn’t she? I bought this plant last year, and it is now about three feet high. It is reported to be aggressive (it’s a member of that horrible mint family) but it hasn’t tried anything funny in my garden yet.
Here’s a view of it in the perennial bed, so you can get an idea of its size.
The plant is native to most of the United States. It’s a butterfly and native bee magnet and the hummingbirds love it, too.
The leaves have medicinal properties, and are brewed into teas to treat ulcers and cuts, and even indigestion. In the photo below, taken early in the morning, a sleepy bee is chilling on one of the flowers.
You can grow this plant just about anywhere in the country in a sunny, well-drained location. It is hardy from Zone 3b to Zone 9b, and it’s quite resistant to powdery mildew. I cut a couple of stems to test its vase-worthiness and the flowers hold up really well.
In my garden, it has proven to be a fine plant indeed.