What is Catmint? How to Use Catmint

Catnep, Catnip

FR: Cataire, Herbe aux chats

GER: Echte Katzenminze

IT: Erba dei gatti

SP: Calaminta

BOT: Nepeta cataria

FAM: Labiatae

ILL: Plate 15, No. 4

Catmint is natural to calcareous soils in many parts of Europe and Asia and rather uncommon in southern Britain. It is a common garden escape in North America. A perennial, it grows two feet high, or more, and the leaves and stem are covered with a whitish down: flowers, white with red dots, grow in dense whorls at the top of the stem Catmint is easy to grow either from seed or by dividing plants.

Catmint has a rather odd minty taste and cats like to romp in it. Catmint tea was famous in Europe from Roman times and was once popular in North America. In the Middle Ages the leaves were used for flavouring meat, and young shoots were used in salads. Catmint is still said to be sometimes used for seasoning in France, though I have never consciously come across it.

What is Catmint? How to Use Catmint Photo Gallery

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