bergamot bûr´gəmŏt˝ [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.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Plants