Monarda didyma is an upright wildflower that expands into colonies from vigorous rhizomes. In summer, they are topped by rounded clusters of red to purplish tubular flowers.Blooming begins in summer and lasts for about 6 weeks. Monarda didyma thrives in sun or part sun and moist acid humus rich soil but will tolerate clay, sand and wet soils. It will grow and flower more vigorously if divided in spring or fall every 3-4 years.Foliage is prone to powdery mildew especially during periods of rain. But thankfully, bumblebees, swallowtail butterflies and hummingbirds are still attracted to its nectar, and caterpillars of several moth species feed on the foliage; and its aromatic foliage is unpalatable to deer and rabbits.. TRIVIA: Monarda didyma was a popular substitute for “real tea” (Camellia sinensis) after the Boston Tea Party. True tea was imported from Britain and taxed by the Crown. This species is sometimes called Oswego tea for the Native American tribe who made great use of it.