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Nepeta cataria

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
NEP-eh-tuh kat-AR-ee-uh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Perennial herb with many uses and especially loved by cats. Plants are somewhat intolerant of the heat and humidity of the deep South and appreciate some afternoon shade. Shear flower spikes after initial flowering to promote continued bloom. Can be weedy and best grown in containers.

 

VIDEO Created by Homegrown featuring Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum 

More information on Nepeta.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#edible plant#perennial#weedy#aromatic#herb garden#pollinator plant#problem for cats
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#partial shade#edible plant#perennial#weedy#aromatic#herb garden#pollinator plant#problem for cats
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Nepeta
    Species:
    cataria
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe and Asia
    Distribution:
    Naturalized throughout
    Wildlife Value:
    Cats love it. The nectar of the flowers attracts long-tongued bees primarily, including honeybees, bumblebees, cuckoo bees (Epeolus spp., Triepeolus spp.), long-horned bees (Melissodes spp.), and leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.). Other visitors that occasionally visit the flowers include Halictid bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, and skippers. The foliage is one of the food sources for the caterpillars of such moths as Sphinx eremitus (Hermit Sphinx) and the polyphagous Xanthotype urticaria (False Crocus Geometer)
    Edibility:
    Leaves for herbal teas. As a culinary herb, fresh leaves (minty flavor) may be chopped and added to soups, stews, sauces, vegetables, or pasta.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The upper stems terminate in dense whorls of flowers on spike-like racemes about 1-6" long. The flowers are small, two-lipped, white with pale purple spotting tubular flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Aromatic, coarsely-toothed, triangular to ovate, grey-green leaves (to 3" long). Leaves are downy which gives it a grey-green appearance.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Many cats love catnip, but it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It makes some cats sedated and others stimulated.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Nepetalactone
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No