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 blue-violet, 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 “until he chewed a little catmint root.” Have some Loosestrife around in case things get out of hand. Cut back in July for an encore in the fall.
Indigenous to the mountainous areas of northwest China, this choice rarely offered Nepeta swaggers a lot of garden oomph: spicy fragrance, tall valiant stature and bountiful bicolored blooms that beguile both honey bees and floral designers. Toothed triangular green leaves and sturdy upright stems bolster long branching spires housing whorled clusters of unusual clear blue-purple flowers with dark purple speckles on striking white lips. Happiest in adequately moist, well-drained soil, Nepeta stewartiana is perfect for a cottage garden, formal border or meadow setting.
Blooms June–mid September
Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/2' high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 5.
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Other selections in this genus:
- Nepeta ‘Blue Dragon’
- Nepeta faassenii ‘Kit Cat’
- Nepeta x faassenii ‘Purrsian Blue’
- Nepeta x faassenii ‘Select Blue’
- Nepeta grandiflora ‘Dawn to Dusk’
- Nepeta grandiflora ‘Wild Cat’
- Nepeta grandiflorum ‘Summer Magic’
- Nepeta x ‘Joanna Reed’
- Nepeta kubanica ‘Bokratune’
- Nepeta latifolia
- Nepeta ‘Longipes’
- Nepeta nervosa
- Nepeta nuda ssp. albiflora
- Nepeta parnassica
- Nepeta ‘Pool Bank’
- Nepeta ‘Psfike (Little Trudy)™’
- Nepeta racemosa ‘Little Titch’
- Nepeta racemosa ‘Superba’
- Nepeta racemosa ‘Walkers Low’
- Nepeta reichenbachiana
- Nepeta sibirica ‘Souvenir d’ A. Chaudron’
- Nepeta x ‘Six Hills Giant’
- Nepeta ‘Snowflake’
- Nepeta subsessilis ‘Blue Dreams’
- Nepeta subsessilis ‘Cool Cat’
- Nepeta subsessilis ‘Sweet Dreams’
- Nepeta subsessilis ‘Washfield’