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bergamot (bûrˈgəmŏtˌ) [key] [from Bergamo, Italy], citrus tree ( Citrus bergamia ) grown chiefly in Italy, belonging to the family Rutaceae (rue family). From the rind of the bergamot orange is extracted an essential oil used in perfumes and eau de Cologne. Various North American plants of the Labiatae (mint family) are also called bergamot because of their bergamotlike fragrance. Chief among these is Monarda fistulosa, or wild bergamot, closely related to Oswego tea, or bee balm, which it resembles. The name bergamot is also applied to a variety of pear. True bergamot is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Rutaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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