Large hooded talons in vibrant clear-red emerge from dark calices supported by red-bracts, mottled in bright emerald-green - one of the spectacular sights of high summer
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July to September
- Hardiness: fully hardy
- Garden care: Most monardas can be capricious, and do not like soil that is either too damp or too dry. These plants are susceptible to powdery mildew, and while this rarely causes long-term damage, it can look unsightly towards the end of the summer. You can help reduce this by applying a 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted organic matter around each plant. Resist cutting bergamot back in autumn, since the stiff, vertical stems look good all winter.
A long flowering season, lemony, aromatic leaves and distinctive whorls of narrow-petalled, tufted flowers set above a ruff of purple bracts, all add to the appeal of bergamot. 'Squaw' has bright, guardsman-red flowers surrounded by brownish-red bracts from July to September and pointed, mid-green leaves. It looks gorgeous planted en masse in the middle of a sunny, mixed or herbaceous border, where it will be smothered with butterflies and bees during the flowering period. It associates particularly well with ornamental grasses, and the flowers make a lovely winter silhouette as they die. It does best in a soil that retains moisture over summer. One of the newer varieties, this is less susceptible to powdery mildew than many other monardas.