Bee balm color variation

We’ve been growing bee balm (or wild bergamot, or monarda) for many years. It started as one large clump, and then we divided it into two sections. Each year it’s been the same pale purple color.

side view of dozens of light-purple bee balm, the second-closest with a bumblebee on the bottom

Last year there were a couple of volunteer blossoms, but this summer new growth is popping up all over. The first new plants were purple, too, but then I noticed a pink flower…

closeup of one blossom that is much pinker, several of the petals still closed tubes

…which turned into a pink patch.

10 blossoms from the side, the closest 3 in focus

Later I found a nearly white patch, then several more clusters like this.

closeup of one white blossom with dozens of open petals, some in the middle turning brown

9 white blossoms of various widths, most with lots of petals but some with only a few

And finally, I found a couple of blossoms that were a darker purple.

two large darker purple blossoms, past peak and losing their petals

Those are all the color possibilities that minnesotawildflowers.info lists for bee balm, all right in our own front yard.

Plant source: To the best of my memory, Roseville arboretum end-of-summer sale, 2011

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