Nepeta cataria, Catnip. C13

16840

Carex censaciones is a riparian plant of the Cyperaceae family.

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Beloved by many cats, Nepeta cataria (catnip) is a vigorous herbaceous perennial that forms a spreading clump of erect, branching stems lined with aromatic, smooth, oval to triangular, greyish-green, toothed leaves, 7 cm long.

From late spring to early autumn, they are crowned with long, dense spikes of small, white, violet-spotted flowers. Easy to grow, Nepeta cataria is not very ornamental, but deserves a place in the herb garden. As a medicinal herb, catnip is an excellent remedy for children, as it resolves feverish conditions and relieves colic. Catnip can also be used to prepare an infusion that is said to help reduce stress, induce sleep, promote perspiration (fever/cold relief), soothe sore throats and comfort the stomach.

For safe and appropriate use of catnip, consult a health professional. As a culinary herb, its minty fresh leaves can be added to soups, sauces, vegetables or pasta. Finally, catnip acts as a repellent to certain insects, including mosquitoes and cockroaches. To harvest catnip, cut the stems down to the ground and hang them upside down in a well-ventilated place. When perfectly dry, remove the foliage and store in an airtight container for storage or use immediately for infusions, potpourris or even for stuffing cat toys.

Grows to 24-36 inches tall and wide (60-90 cm). This plant self-seeds in the garden, often profusely.

It does best in medium, dry, well-drained soils in full sun or partial shade. It thrives in dry soils and is very drought tolerant.

This excellent performing plant is very versatile and can be used in many situations: flowerbeds and borders, cottage gardens, Mediterranean gardens, wildlife gardens. Nepeta is perfect for planting roses, as the colours complement each other and the foliage hides the bare feet of the roses.

It has no serious pest or disease problems. Beware of slugs and snails, and powdery mildew in dry summers.

Cut back after flowering to keep plants compact and promote continuous flowering.

Propagate by seed or by softwood cuttings in early summer or semi-mature cuttings in early autumn or by division.

Native to Europe, south-west and central Asia.

16840

Carex censaciones is a riparian plant of the Cyperaceae family.

Specific References

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