Nepeta

Nepeta

Catmint

Sometime around May a certain fragrance tells us that it’s time for sunny days and warm weather. It’s Nepeta! Catmint, as it is commonly called, is a free bloomer whose billowy mounds of lavender, pink or white flowers are as opulent as its aromatic foliage.

Supposedly, this herb renders timid people fierce, and the botanist Tournefort tells of a hangman who couldn’t cut the mustard “til he chewed a little catmint root.” Make sure you have some Loosestrife around in case things get out of hand.

Cut back in July for an encore in the fall.

Big, bright blue-violet tubular blooms with an extended white freckled lower lip and smoky purple calyxes bedeck showy 6 in. floral spires. Inheriting the vigor of its yunnanensis parent, yet maintaining a neat compact habit, branched upright stems emerge from underground stolons and sprout attractive notched grayish green leaves.

Barely fazed by heat, humidity and sporadic dry periods, ‘Blue Dragon’s long blooming flowers make a spectacular addition to a summer bouquet. (PPAF)

Blooms June – mid-September.

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Nepeta faassenii</i> ‘Kit Kat’

A well-mannered newcomer, ‘Kit Kat’ keeps a compact, low-to-the-ground profile. Pint-sized leaves shape the gray-green clump that projects cool tones especially when small but numerous terminal clusters of lavender-blue flowers unfurl all summer long.

Perfect for diminishing hard edges along paths, steps or in the rockery, this floriferous Nepeta easily melds with Stachys ‘Silky Fleece’ and Scutellaria ‘Smoky Hills’.

Blooms May–mid-October.

Size: 15" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Praised for its myriad periwinkle-blue blooms with smoky purple calyces and low, compact fast growing habit, this 2013 introduction came about when Kevin Hurd crossed N. ‘Six Hills Giant’ and N. ‘Eldean’. Prim, petite serrated grayish green leaves clothe a spry rounded mound that requires little maintenance and can edge a perennial border, squeeze between stone work or grace an herb garden. (pp#24,788)

Blooms May–September

Size: 18" high x 18" – 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

David Salmon of High Country Gardens recently selected this long blooming, tough-as-nails Catmint for its markedly blue flower spikes. Long, tapered, gray-green leaves comprise a tidy, low growing mound that is covered with blossoms in late spring, and if trimmed back, bestow a second showing in late summer. Vigorous and drought tolerant, ‘Select Blue’ can be paired with another floriferous perennial, Diascia ‘Pink Adobe’, for a colorful union.

Blooms May–August.

Size: 15" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Nepeta grandiflora</i> ‘Dawn to Dusk’

One of the best pink Nepetas, ‘Dawn to Dusk’ produces an open mound of soft, sage-green foliage. Smoky violet calyxes make the color combination even more soothing.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Nepeta grandiflora</i> ‘Wild Cat’

Awarded four stars in the Chicago Botanical Garden’s Nepeta Performance Trials, this exciting new Catmint broadcasts lively purplish red calyxes that can be enjoyed long after its blossoms have faded. The lush sage-green leaves create a vigorous understory for quantities of small, dark blue-violet tubes clustered on good-sized flower heads. Staged midborder, the colorful display spans several months and blends easily with Sedum ‘Hab Gray’, while riding on tall upright stems.

Blooms mid-June – late September.

Size: 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Nepeta</i> x ‘Joanna Reed’

We recently acquired this distinctive, hard-to-find Nepeta from Stonehouse Nursery in Michigan. A naturally occurring cross between Nepeta sibirica and Nepeta faassenii, ‘Joanna Reed’s upright form boasts vibrantly colored clusters of flowers. Highlighted by pink throats, the iridescent blue-violet blooms garnish handsome gray-green foliage and harmonize with Lobelia tupa.

Blooms late May–September.

Size: 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Bathed in restful hues, this seldom-offered Nepeta fashions a softly colored, large mound of good-sized, serrated, gray-green leaves and tall, branching spikes embellished with densely set lilac flowers. Blooming for months, ‘Longipes’ creates a pleasing pastel medley in the company of Papaver spicatum and Euphorbia myrsinites.

Blooms late May–July.

Size: 2' 0" high x 2' 0" – 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Nepeta nervosa</i>

Despite its name, this outstanding Kashmiri native will give you nothing to be nervous about. With an upright and bushy stance, N. nervosa features handsome, deep green foliage that’s veined and somewhat linear in shape, accompanied by large dense clusters of dark blue flowers. Plant at the base of Buddleja crispa, and enjoy the strikingly classic contrast of blue and silver.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 12" – 18" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Indigenous to northern Greece, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, this stately Nepeta exhibits unique qualities, casting impressive vertical accents as straight 3 ft. tall branched stems soldier upward. The generous showing of small white flowers illuminates an attractive leafy green bed, shaped by notched, prominently veined good-sized foliage. N. nuda ssp. albiflora can be coupled with Gaura ‘White Heron’ for luminous color echoes as well as intriguing foliar contrast.

Blooms July-September

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Nepeta parnassica</i>

A rather new introduction, Nepeta parnassica is tall growing. Attached to its brawny stems, sizable grayish green leafage lifts itself toward lush spikes of lilac-blue flowers and dark, wine-hued calyxes. This late bloomer’s height puts it midborder, where, backed by the concurrent blooms of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, a late summer pleasure is yours for the viewing.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 4' 0" – 4-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

An upright Englishman standing taller and with less sprawl than N.x ‘Six Hills Giant’, ‘Pool Bank’s gray-green foliage gives way to tall branched spires decorated with bluish lavender blossoms, each nestled in a dusky mulberry-hued calyx. The tempered look of this Nepeta is effective for midborder drifts with Agastache ‘Firebird’ nearby.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 3' 0" high x 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

A dogged constitution and compact good looks hallmark this new Plant Select offering. Flourishing in xeric conditions, a noteworthy close-to-the ground mound of well branched stems and dusty silver-green, serrated leaves gives way to deep lavender flower spires nearly all season long. Nestle fine-textured Little Trudy along a walkway, amid stairs, atop a wall or in the rock garden where she makes a composed companion for Oenothera ‘Silver Blade’. (PPAF)

Blooms May – September.

Size: 8" – 10" high x 12" – 16" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Nepeta racemosa ‘Little Titch’ (P-0862)

Each $7.75

AVAILABLE MID OCTOBER 2018

‘Little Titch’ has such a small stature that even Nepeta ‘Superba’ is more upright. With tightly packed gray-green leaves, it forms a low growing, dense mat. Adorning stem tips, small heads of rich blue flowers bloom all summer long. ‘Little Titch’ is delightful between rocks or up front in the border with Dracocephalum ‘Fuji White’ and Diascia ‘Coral Canyon’.

Blooms May–September.

Size: 8" – 10" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Nepeta racemosa</i> ‘Superba’

A matlike habit and small leaves give ‘Superba’ a fine texture that sets it apart from other Nepetas. Contrast its compact carpet of gray-green foliage with a backdrop of Phygelius x ‘Pink Elf’.

Blooms May–October.

Size: 12" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Nepeta racemosa</i> ‘Walker’s Low’

This low mounding newcomer has a clean-cut look that lasts throughout the summer, making it excellent for the front of a border. The deep lavender-blue flowers are some of the most vividly colored of the Nepetas we offer, and they harmonize beautifully with the blooms of Penstemon ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ and Helenium ‘Coppelia’.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

This compact Nepeta bears blue flowers with just a hint of violet, and offers verdant foliage. Growing profusely, it forms a thick, low mound with a sumptuous play of color, texture and fragrance.

Blooms April–October.

Size: 12" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Long after this species has bloomed you will remember its large, tubular, blue flowers highlighted by intensely aromatic, deep green foliage. With an upright form, ‘Souvenir d’ A. Chaudron’ makes a good companion for Origanum ‘Bristol Cross’ or Euphorbia rigida.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 18" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Nepeta</i> x ‘Six Hills Giant’

Both upright and billowy, this Nepeta is spectacular in drifts, sporting stems laden with lavender flowers. Its blossoms are held openly above its soft gray-green foliage. An old favorite here, ‘Six Hills Giant’ looks superb backed by Calamagrostis ‘Avalanche’, with its golden seed heads. Pink Geraniums are equally worthy companions.

Blooms April–September.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

A snowy divergence from the blue-violet hues typical of its family members, small white whorled flowers blanket a compact, soft-looking mound of serrated, gray-green leaves all summer. Well-suited for edging a path or border, Nepeta ‘Snowflake’ casts composed accents on neighbors like Origanum acutidens and Penstemon ‘Blue Midnight’.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 12" – 15" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Zone 4/5.

Broadcasting vibrant blue tones, a profusion of large, loosely arranged plump cylinders house tubular blooms with darker fringed calyxes. Neat, serrated leaves make a handsome cover for the upright clumping stems that flourish in moist soil and dappled shade. Deadheading will keep the flowers coming.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 18" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Nepeta subsessilis</i> ‘Cool Cat’

Icy spikes of white-specked lavender-blue flowers to soothe the senses on a hot afternoon are what this new, highly touted Nepeta has to offer. Compact straight-up stems are densely shrouded in dark green serrated leaves, making a tidy aromatic base for the prolific summer long display. Partner with Eryngium ‘Blue Jackpot’ and blue-flowered Anchusa and enjoy the cool-colored vignette.

Blooms June – September.

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/2' high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Found growing on shady, mountainous rocks or coastal cliffs in Japan, this species likes moist soil. Upright, clumping stems lined with serrated, lanceolate foliage provide a lush background for the fat, cylindrical spikes of long, trumpet-shaped clear pink flowers. Distinguished by eye catching dark burgundy floral bracts and larger, deep green leaves, ‘Sweet Dreams’ continues to bloom if deadheaded, and can be paired with Persicaria ‘Rosea’.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 18" high x 2' 0" – 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Named for Elizabeth Strangman’s British nursery where it originated, ‘Washfield’ is regarded as the best subsessilis cultivar currently available. Adored by butterflies and bees, well-endowed, erect branching spikes house vibrant clusters of blue-violet tubular flowers, opening from small buds shrouded in dark calyxes. The bushy clump-forming base yields scented green foliage, which offsets gray-leafed plants to great effect and obliges heavier soil more so than most Catmints.

Blooms June – August.

Size: 18" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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